The Word within the Word

John 1:1-2, 14, 18

This Sunday I asked the congregation to greet one another with a holy kiss. No one moved, in fact they laughed. Interesting; it’s in the scriptures, it’s commanded (Ro 16.16); so what’s the problem? Well, some things just don’t translate into other cultures very well. Kissing is too intimate to be used as a greeting in an East African church. Here we would be much more comfortable with a holy handshake. But is this disobedience to God’s word? Or alternatively, is it right to impose first century Middle Eastern traditions on modern Africa? Well, on this occasion I decided we would not. So we didn’t kiss, and everyone was quite relieved! But it raises an interesting question. Are parts of scripture just human expressions of God’s word? And do we sometimes err by preaching the expression (kissing) rather than God’s word itself (love one another)? More