Reading: 1 Peter 5:12–14
My wife and I have a 15-month-old child. Whenever one of us comes home we scoop him up in a hug and give him a big kiss on the cheek. We are trying to teach him the same practice. Hugs he is getting the hang of, but kisses are still a work in progress. I must be honest, I love my son, but baby kisses can be absolutely disgusting. Most of the time it involves sucking on my face and being left with a mix of saliva and whatever he was just eating. And yet, I love them. There are few things on this earth that I enjoy more than receiving affection from my son.
I’m not trying to suggest we need to reintroduce kisses of greeting into our circles, but I am trying to suggest that we follow the lead of St. Peter and show some familial love. The next time you see a brother or sister in Christ, greet them with all the love and joy you can muster. Greet each other as ones who have been given the grace of God. It’s not exactly the stoic German thing to do, but it is the Christian thing to do.
Gracious Father, in loving kindness You reached out to us and showed us Your love for us in Christ. As you have showed loved to us, may we show love to one another, that we might share together in the joy of your salvation; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
You bid us bend our human pride
Nor count ourselves above
The lowest place, the meanest task
That waits the gift of love. (LSB 857:4)
Joseph Highley (Sem IV, CSL)