Let’s Bring Back the Holy Kiss

September 7, 2007

We have just posted a new sermon called Let’s Bring Back the Holy Kiss. Here’s an excerpt:

There are still cultures where the holy kiss is practiced today. I’ll never forget my first trip to St. Petersburg, Russia with John and Helen Sergey. When the men of the Temple of the Gospel greeted John, one after another they hugged him and warmly kissed him on the cheek. The women did the same for Helen. And so it was in every church we visited. I even got kissed a few times. Let me tell you, it’s a very strange experience for an uptight American to have a Russian brother give you a bear hug and then smack you on the cheek. But after awhile, I liked it!

That’s why I say a handshake is different from a kiss. A handshake is safe, secure. You can keep your distance that way. If people get too close, you can always try to twist their arm behind their back! A holy handshake–as good as it might be–just isn’t the same as a holy kiss. It simply doesn’t mean the same thing.

So here we are in the 21st-century and Paul says, “Greet one another with a holy kiss.” When was the last time you received a holy kiss? When was the last time you gave one?

This sermon deals with the “holy kiss,” a topic we rarely discuss. I would love to get your comments and feedback. What do you think about the holy kiss? Have you ever been in a church that practiced the holy kiss? Should this custom be reinstituted today? What concerns do you have? What is the deeper meaning behind the holy kiss? I look forward to reading your thoughts.

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