Wednesday, March 11, 2015
“Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen” (1 Peter 5:14).
Dear saints all around the world, we greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! 🙂
Elsewhere in the Bible’s canon, we find similar expressions to today’s Scripture. For instance, 2 Corinthians 13:12-13: “Greet one another with an holy kiss. All the saints salute you.” Or, “Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss” (1 Thessalonians 5:26). And 1 Corinthians 16:20: “All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with an holy kiss.”
To “greet” is an action of endearment, a gesture of love and respect. As custom in apostolic days, to “kiss” other believers was to do so on the cheeks, beard, hands, or forehead. Men would kiss men and women would kiss women. Today, we shake hands, hug, wave, smile, say “Hello,” et cetera.
Many times the Greek word for “greet” is translated “salute” in our King James Bible (Romans 16:5,7,9,10-16,21-23; 1 Corinthians 16:19; Philippians 4:21,22; Colossians 4:10,12,15; 2 Timothy 4:19; Titus 3:15; Philemon 23; Hebrews 13:24; 1 Peter 5:13; 3 John 14; et cetera). Our English word “salute” is from Latin salutare ‘greet, pay one’s respects to,’ from salus, salut- ‘health, welfare, greeting’; the noun partly from Old French salut.
In this world of busyness and worldliness, love is greatly lacking—even within the professing “Body of Christ.” Christians talk about how there once was an atmosphere of love in their local assembly; now, the ambiance is cold and unconcerned, full of backbiting, division, and selfishness. Christians do not seem to be as caring as they once were concerning other Christians. It is described by the phrase “without natural affection” in 2 Timothy 3:3. What a shame when Christians treat other Christians as lost people treat Christians!
Today, find another Christian and “salute/greet” him or her. Give a handshake, a wave, blow a kiss, do something to acknowledge their presence. After all, you need your practice. There will be millions of saints for you to “salute/greet” when you get to heaven. And, never forget, some will be the exact same saints mentioned in today’s Scripture! 🙂