Greet Ye One Another
The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son. Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen. (1Peter 5:13-14)
WE HUMANS GREET ONE ANOTHER and say goodbye to one another with a little ritual. It’s a ritual of acknowledgment of the other person. It communicates that “you are of worth and value to me.” It’s as natural as breathing and swinging our arms when we walk. We just do it. In which country and in which century is/was it NOT done? Even some animals and some birds greet one another. The exceptions would be when someone storms out of the house in anger or when there’s a fight.
ON THE PHONE, WE BEGIN WITH: “Hello” and end with “Bye.” In letters, the parts of a letter include the greeting: Dear Nancy/Sam, and ends with the closing: “Love” or “Sincerely” and a signature. To ignore this human thing of greeting one another would be like making water run up-hill.
IN OUR TEXT FOR TODAY, Peter is not introducing a new subject. He is instructing these Christians to make sure they don’t neglect this common human connection that was practiced in that day. In their culture, the men kissed one another on the cheek or forehead and the women kissed one another on the cheek or forehead. There was no kissing between men and women. In our text, there was no hugging. But, in our societal customs that are rooted largely in Europe but also in other parts of the world, we do our human greeting through saying “Hi,” hand shaking, hugging, maybe a little light kissing, etc.
ALL MEN ARE NOT HUGGERS. All women are not huggers. All children are not huggers. People are wired and trained a certain way. My mother and father both raised me as a hugger but when I became a teenager I realized that I could not go around hugging and kissing everybody. When I became a pastor, I knew for sure, IN CAPITAL LETTERS that I could not go around hugging and kissing everybody. When I learned to let the lady take the lead in personal greeting, that took a lot of uneasiness out of the social greeting business.
A LIGHT TOUCH THAT IS NOT OVERBEARING is the order of the day. Keep the physical contact, if any, as a light, fleeting contact with no sexual overtones. (How would you word it?) At funerals and other times of grief or stress, to briefly take hold of one’s hand with both of our hands is a way to give a light hug. (Don’t linger.)
ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE DISCUSSION is the danger of ignoring people, with no greeting of any kind. That is a no-no. “Well, are you just going to high-hat me?” People feel it if they are ignored and we should try not to ignore people, especially if eye contact has been made. Watch what the children do. They seem to have a natural knack for what is proper. But, sometimes they are shy and are waiting for someone to take the initiative.
GREETING ONE ANOTHER HAS NO RULE BOOK, but it must be done. That’s the main point Peter is making. In some way, acknowledge other people. Make the connection.
"ONE ANOTHER" OR "ONE TO ANOTHER" occurs 547 times in the King James Bible. That is no small thing. God made us as social creatures. In Genesis, before God made the woman, He declared: …It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. (Genesis 2:18) Of course, this statement encompasses a permanent bonded relationship, but it includes the idea that man does not do well alone. People who live alone live less time than those who have companionship.
IN OUR FAMILY, WE BEGIN A FAMILY VISIT WITH HUGS and when we leave, we hug again. In country churches in the south, hugging, cheeking, and a wee bit of kissing may take place. At funerals, much hugging takes place as an expression of shared grief. Women hug one another much more than men. But, even among big men, hugging one another is not uncommon. Men prefer to shake hands with each other.
TO RECAP: When I was in my teens, I learned that men should let women take the lead in touching men by extending her hand or by not extending her hand. If the hand is not extended, then the man can bow his head slightly to acknowledge the presence of the lady. There seems to be a universal need for some act of acknowledgment of the presence of the other person. It may be spoken or physical. Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
MAY 1, 2018 – TUESDAY
A.M. 1Kings 1-2 P.M. Luke 22:54-71
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
(A lady told me they go to Morning Minute and let the man read to them while they eat breakfast.)
Good Memory Verse:
Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: (Isaiah 46:9-10)
Song for Today:
Just When I Need Him Most (2:46) – (Dr. Lee Roberson)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDauEBXfVoU - (Wait 15 seconds)
Note: You may need to turn off the song when finished to avoid something you do not want to hear, afterwards.