Pastor Vern’s Pondering June 2022

1 Peter 5:14 “Greet one another with a kiss of love. 

Peace to all of you who are in Christ.”

Peter was a very close friend of Jesus.  He walked with Jesus, talked with Jesus, and ate with Jesus.  He was one of the three disciples who made up Jesus’ “inner circle” along with James and John.  In his first letter, he writes “one another” five times.  These “one another” texts reveal what it means to be a Christian in all ages.  So far, we have been told to love one another, live in harmony with one another, offer hospitality to one another and clothe yourselves with humility toward one another.

This month we are finally instructed to Greet one another with a kiss of love. Walther Gunther says, “The kiss in the ancient world was both a friendly sign of greeting and an emotional token of farewell.”  I would liken the “kiss of love” to a hug in our contemporary culture.  A hug is more than a handshake, which both a professional or a casual form of mutual greeting.  A hug usually implies a friendship that is deeper than just an acquaintance.  

Obviously, two people need to be in close proximity in order to give on another a hug.  Recently, social distancing, because of Covid-19, has made hugging one another all but impossible.  During that time, I remembered how much I missed getting and giving hugs.  But then it came to me, in the crazy time in which we were living, refraining from hugging one another was actually an act of love toward the other.  And love is what is at the heart of Peter’s command.  So, the principle of showing love toward one another supersedes the practice of how that love is expressed during any given time.  Today, we no longer offer a kiss of love, but a warm embrace.   However, when Covid was at its peak, we refrained from touching one another to show our love to one another.

All said and done, these “one another” text have shown us how important it is to be connected to each other.  May the Holy Spirit continue to draw us together for our peace and God’s glory!

With a Warm Virtual Embrace,

Pastor Vern