KISS and PRAY!
1 Thessalonians 5:25-28
KISS and PRAY!
I know that your interest is excitedly peaked or your eyebrow might be slightly raised, or maybe you are just outright giving me the side eye….. but please KEEP READING! I have only minimized the verbiage in our verses for today. Here is what the text actually says…
Brothers and sisters, PRAY for us.
Greet all God’s people with a holy KISS. I charge you before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers and sisters.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you
See! KISS and PRAY! LOL! Talk about a whole lot of grace that we are being asked to extend to our neighbors…
But My Friends, seriously, Paul makes a very direct point about how we are to show God’s love one to another. We are to be willing to PRAY for one another and greet ALL God’s people with a HOLY KISS. And if that still seems a bit too much, perhaps you will like the way the Message Bible reads…
Friends, keep up your prayers for us.
Greet all the followers of Jesus there with a holy EMBRACE.
Perhaps the current “norms” of social grace, common greetings, and personal space give us pause to the whole idea of kissing as a standard way of greeting ALL of the followers of Jesus Christ. I am pretty sure that Paul did NOT mean the romantic kiss shared by couples in love or the kind of kiss shared between family members, so before we totally dismiss the idea of “kissing,” maybe we should all just pause and reevaluate the kind of care and affection Paul is encouraging us to share amongst those of us who are followers of Jesus Christ.
Actually and probably unfortunately, this verse, just might be right on time. I intentionally phrased the previous statement in that way because the fact that the church has to have greeters and hospitality ministries, and welcoming committees, and trainings on “customer” service is very telling. The fact that we even need to entertain and study and implement strategies in order to make people feel welcome is the actual reality we face and it is unfortunate.
Now, I am NOT at all saying that we should absolutely do away with these often superficial means of portraying that our church is the Body of Christ that welcomes whosoever will walk into our doors. I am NOT saying that at all. I am simply offering a critique of the reality of hundreds, if not thousands, of churches today. We need to be told to be welcoming and hospitable when the BIBLE has already told us to do so. In other words, we should not need a committee or a visitor’s card to tell our churches to be nice. We, who make up the body of Christ, should simply embody the epitome of what it means to be so.
BlogFam, KISS and PRAY. We were told to do that thousands of years ago. And yes, perhaps we can modernize our methods for being welcoming given the modern conveniences of transportation, technology, buildings, brochures, and any other 21 century convenience that was not available in Paul’s day. But at the end of the day, with all of our ushers, greeters, workshops, receptions, bags, and balloons, we are simply jazzing up what we are supposed to be doing, how we are supposed to be living anyway.
So, on today, I invite you to be the leader, captain, spokesperson, representative, and any other words we might use in our local churches that are fancy for saying SERVANT of God. I invite you to BE the one to exemplify what it means to love and welcome others into your home, school, office, or place of worship. I invite you not to wait for the next training but to start with the people you sit next to every Sunday. I invite you to KISS and PRAY and show everyone through your words and actions just how welcoming and inviting our God has been to you.
BlogFam, KISS and PRAY!
And in doing so, YOU will show and experience
the amazing GRACE of Jesus Christ!
God Loves You and I Do Too!