Read 1 Thessalonians 5:26
26 Greet all God’s people with a holy kiss. (NIV)
This was always one of the key Bible verses in church youth groups. Members were always ready to try out various applications of the text! In our times,we tend not to indulge in too much kissing,however holy it might be. Nowadays it is more likely to be holy hugging.
Here we need to note that some Christians are willing givers and recipients of hugs while others are decidedly not. For many it will depend on the relationship we have with that person. ‘Hugs without history’ can be problematic. Men in particular may be more wary of hugs. Adrian Plass once wrote that when men gave hugs to one another it was like they were trying to bring up one another’s wind!
Our text reminds us of the importance of warm greeting,but the expression of that greeting may change. One translation even has Paul talking about offering a warm handshake. It seems that the form of warmth might vary from person to person but there needs to be some warmth amongst the people of God.
Whether you are someone who hugs anything that moves on two legs,or whether you are someone who shies away from physical contact,it is important to greet others with warmth and sincerity. And with cultural and personal sensitivity.
In this way our handshakes,our hugs and our kisses will always be holy.