Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you. (ESV)
When we read of believers giving each other a holy kiss we have mixed reactions. It is an example of love and friendship amongst believers that is very special. However, some of our modern mindset is thinking of the potential lawsuits that could happen. Others are thinking of how socially intrusive this would feel. There are some who balk at the idea of shaking hands or giving a hug on a Sunday morning.
In the Old Testament it was a common practice among Jewish people to greet their friends and family with a kiss on the forehead, hand, or even the beard. It is clear from this text that this practice carried on to the New Testament Church which was largely made up of Jewish converts to Christianity. Paul was raised in the Jewish faith and promotes the continuance of this practice within the family of Christ followers.
There is a segment of people who would have valued this practice of greeting each other with a holy kiss. Consider those who were new to the faith of Christianity. Many of them would have been outcasts from their own family of origin because of their decision to follow Christ. To be greeted by members of their "new family" with a kiss would be a special blessing.
So often, we view our relationships with other believers in the church in a very cold manner. We do not spend any effort getting to know our "brothers" and "sisters." We might even complain if our church offers a time of shaking hands during the worship service. May we be reminded that we are part of the family of God. Whether we offer one another a holy kiss or not, we should work at loving one another.
How do you view your "brothers" and "sisters" in the Church? Have you let them know that you love them? Have you shown them your love in some holy way? What will you do to be more loving? Ask the Lord to show you.