by Pastor Greg Simon

Social distancing is posing a problem for some folks in Alabama. Handshakes and hugs are common greetings and demonstrations of real affection in United States southern cultural Christianity. Is an elbow-bump really an expression of affection?

God’s Word instructs believers to love one another in word and in deed and even in greeting. Consider five times the New Testament directs believers to “kiss”.

  • Romans 16:16 (NASB) “Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.”
  • 1 Corinthians 16:20 (NASB) “All the brethren greet you. Greet one another with a holy kiss.”
  • 2 Corinthians 13:12 (NASB) “Greet one another with a holy kiss.”
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:26 (NASB) “Greet all the brethren with a holy kiss.”
  • 1 Peter 5:14 (NASB) “Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace be to you all who are in Christ.”

If this is taken literally, a whole lot of folks might need to be puckering up a whole lot more. But, could the “holy kiss” be communicated in a different fashion today? I think we can greet one another with holy expressions of affection.

A “holy kiss” is holy, set apart, sanctified, God-honoring! The “holy kiss” is a kingdom touch of authentication and acceptance and impartation. So, make your elbow bump a holy elbow bump. Make your fist bump a holy fist bump. Make your footshake a holy footshake. Let your handshake, hug, head nod, hat tip, fist bump, or elbow bump  be a holy greeting even in an age of social and physical distancing.