At this Resurrection Remembrance time of year, I am reminded of something my wife does that often happens without any fanfare, but does touch people in great and longtime influences: sending/giving GREETING CARDS.
What the Bible might be saying: “Greeting” MIGHT BE MORE IMPORTANT THAN WE THINK!
2 Corinthians 13:12 — “GREET one another with a holy kiss” (Greek: ἀσπάσασθε) 1Thessalonians 5:26 — “GREET all the brothers with a holy kiss”.
24 Occasions the Greek word appears in other contexts; 5 times in the Bible we see this, relating to “a holy kiss”
- Romans 16:16 — “Greet one another with a holy kiss” (Greek: ἀσπάσασθε ἀλλήλους ἐν φιλήματι ἁγίῳ).
- 1 Corinthians 16:20 — “Greet one another with a holy kiss” (Greek: ἀσπάσασθε ἀλλήλους ἐν φιλήματι ἁγίῳ).
- 2 Corinthians 13:12 — “Greet one another with a holy kiss” (Greek: ἀσπάσασθε ἀλλήλους ἐν ἁγίῳ φιλήματι).
- 1 Thessalonians 5:26 — “Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss” (Greek: ἀσπάσασθε τοὺς ἀδελφοὺς πάντας ἐν φιλήματι ἁγίῳ).
- 1 Peter 5:14 — “Greet one another with a kiss of love” (Greek: ἀσπάσασθε ἀλλήλους ἐν φιλήματι ἀγάπης.
For more detail, including the references, on the 24 counts, see this page: http://biblehub.com/greek/aspasasthe_782.htm
The Greeting Card Industry is a big profitable business these days, and it demands incredible creativity by the consuming public. I remember 1 Christmas season receiving about 95% of them as being absolutely original each!
And there is a reason that is biblical for observing it.
It shows a love toward one another that historic Christianity has strongly endorsed.
When you couple it with faithful repetition, I have to believe God will use it in great but unseen ways.
I will be married to my dear wife for 29 years this August, but her “cards ministry” has stretched back further than I have ever ask her when she began. But it has been long and big and covers far more people than the average Christian, not to mention people in general.
It does create a response not typically observed as she does it. On the other hand it touches a minority of folks who take to it ‘imitatively’ for sure.
In asking her who gets one (regarding children who were once kids in our church, but now we do not see regularly for various reasons, although some no longer endorse the faith the same way their parent still do in our church) — I realized the card coming every year still must be sending them the sweetest reminder they can get of what I know to be a pleasant part of their past.
And yes, we don’t yet hear back from quite a few of them. But many, if not most, people who get on her list do not get forgotten.
It might be because of something my wife taught me on our honeymoon: “Don’t just take scenery photos WITHOUT PEOPLE!
One Another. Community. Heavenly Reunion! You’ve gotta love FAMILY — that institution God set up FIRST OF ALL! Genesis 2,5.
I definitely need to do a more extensive study on this word and amazing concept … GREETING!