July 25, 2017

Greet One Another

Romans 16:1-7, 15-16

Greet one another with a holy kiss.

—  Romans 16:16

In Japan, on many roads leading to schools, there are signs that remind students, “Greetings are the foundation of our social life.” Sometimes I think signs like these would be helpful to children, parents, and others in nations everywhere.

Have you ever noticed how Paul’s letters usually begin and end with warm greetings? Romans 1:7 says, “To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.” And today’s verse offers general advice: “Greet one another with a holy kiss.” Paul encourages his readers with love and concern.

Louis Armstrong in his classic song “What A Wonderful World” says, “I see friends shaking hands, saying, ‘How do you do?’/They’re really saying, ‘I love you.’” How true! And did you know that the common farewell in English, “Good-bye,” began many, many years ago as “God be with you”?

A smile with a sparkle in your eye tells a person, even before you open your mouth, that you are glad to see them. How much better than a dead look and no greeting at all!

In our culture, even if we do not greet people with “a holy kiss,” a friendly greeting and a smile go a long way to making someone’s day.

Have you blessed someone that way today?

O God, we love you because you first loved us. Thank you that the circle of your love ripples outward in goodwill to all whom we greet in love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.y

About the author — George Young

George Young, a native New Yorker, worked as a taxi driver in New York City before studying to become a pastor. Then he, his wife Ruth, and their children were missionaries for many years in northeastern Japan. They worked with ministers and believers from the Reformed Church in Japan to spread the good news of salvation in Christ and ­establish new churches. Now George and Ruth are retired and live in the northeastern United States, nearer to their children and grandchildren.

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