Wednesday, 18 January 2012

I kissed a lady other than my wife...

Yesterday our family and a couple of other families got together for a picnic dinner at the beach. It was awesome to have friends and friends of friends gathered. After a wonderful evening under the setting sun, with kids and Dads jumping in the shallows, and mums relaxing and chatting on blankets (well away from the water) it was time to return all the starfish to the ocean and head home. Friends of our friends packed up first and began their farewells. Kisses were exchanged between our friends and their friends. I however was expecting a wave or a nod or a ‘see you next time’ especially as I did not know this couple that well. However I was approached and it was immediately obvious that the ‘farewell kiss of peace’ was about to be offered.

Now this is an extremely biblical and Christian practice, take a look...

Romans 16:16 — "Greet one another with a holy kiss"

1 Corinthians 16:20 — "Greet one another with a holy kiss"

2 Corinthians 13:12 — "Greet one another with a holy kiss"

1 Thessalonians 5:26 — "Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss"

I Peter 5:14 — "Greet one another with a kiss of love"

There is something beautiful and wonderful about a kind of friendship or even simple appreciation of the ‘other’ where greeting and fare welling is accompanied with a purely agape kiss. Amongst many other characteristics it is one of the beautiful parts of the Mediterranean cultures of Italy and Greece etc. Obviously it can be distorted, but at its best it is a wonderful affirmation of the value and worth of others, be they long time friends or people you’ve just met at a picnic at the beach. I love it.
The only thing is... it’s not something much practiced in my circle of friends.

(Though I do know of one friend who on moving to Australia greeted with the kiss explaining it as how people rolled back in NZ. Then on returning from Australia greeted with a kiss explaining it as how people rolled back in Australia. Nice work!)
The long and the short of it is that I’m not an expert of the “greet one another with a holy kiss.” Do you go left or do you go right? Is it like road rules? Keep left at all times? What about if you are about to kiss someone who drives on the right hand side of the road? You’re going to have a collision.

In my naivety it turned out we had a half crash and I ended up kissing a lady half on the lips that wasn’t my wife. (Though my wife was right there and was next in line for a kiss). It was all very straight forward, beautiful really (in the most innocent sense), and we said our farewells. I quickly turned to my wife and our friends exclaiming how; “I hope she’s not going home enraged, complaining to her husband that I feinted left but went right at the last moment! I’d prefer not to have a black eye coming my way at the next family picnic.”

All in all it wasn’t really uncomfortable at all and it was a reminder that people are precious. Life time friends are precious. New acquaintances are precious.

God saw that it was not good for Adam to be alone and he created Eve. As well as that, God gave humanity each other, a whole community of people to journey with and stand with and have stand alongside you in the journey of life. That’s beautiful. Appreciate the people around you today.


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