On several occasions in my adolescence, I can remember my youth pastor, Tommy, threatening that he would “greet me with a holy kiss” if I didn’t stop interrupting him. Somehow this didn’t seem as brotherly and loving as what Paul intended in his letters to the Thessalonians, the Romans, and the Corinthians.
For the second time in our Acts sermon series at Remedy Church, I declined to engage the sacred greeting of the “holy kiss” in my teaching. This first instance occurred in our narrative arc through Thessalonica. The second instance of holy kissing occurred today as we were wrapping up Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. And, with a bit of foreshadowing in mind, it will happen again at the end of 2nd Corinthians as well. There really isn’t a viable reason why I have avoided breaking down the language behind this greeting when it has come up in context within our teaching. So, for the sake of common edification, here’s a quick breakdown…
The Greek phrase employed by Paul is philemati hagio
And NEVER on the lips.
Next time I see you… I’m still all good with a holy handshake… and the occasional holy hug.
You can save up your holy kisses for another person.