Greet one another with a holy kiss. 2 Corinthians 13:12
I like the French, I like France, I like it here. Bertie likes it here. The people are friendly, the weather is great, the food is great, whats not to like?
Bertie met a new friend today from a farm just down the road, they had seen each other and had a little sniff at each other yesterday but only through the safety of the bars of the side gate. It’s a huge dog in comparison to medium sized Bertie and she is still only young. She is going to be a real handful when she gets to fully grown. She is quite gangly and her fur is thick. She has a huge mouth and wild eyes. Extra toes on her back legs that probably should have been removed after birth as they are quite useless. There is quite possibly a bit of wolf in there somewhere.
Well today I had to get some things from the roof boxes on top of the motor-home. Some leather steel toed work boots for around the orchard and when I am chopping wood for the fire. A couple of scarves to keep away the morning chill from my neck and a good stiff broom head to help combat the fallen leaves from congregating. So I had the farm cottage door open and the big wolf dog came to the door as I was up the ladder.
Bertie was as usual never far from me, just behind the door. I feared the worst initially as Bertie is great with people and completely non aggressive. With other dogs he never knows what to do as he has been attacked several times and never retaliates. Even so, he was no match for this young, fit, dog! A little sniff of each other around the face and that was it. She turned fast. and off she went. Skipping, jumping, scurrying and zig zagging down the road with Bertie in hot pursuit! There was no real danger of him getting lost and it is so rare to see another vehicle pass by, I just carried on.
It made me think and so has being in France of the scripture that says “Greet each other with a holy kiss“ in 2 Corinthians 13:12. The French always do this to family, friends, acquaintances and even to complete strangers. There is a high level of decent common courtesy by the absolute minimum of “Bonjour“. If two people pass on a street and they have never seen each other or have no connection whatsoever, it is regarded as the epitome of rudeness NOT to say Hello! How good is that? Everybody is welcomed! Isn’t that what a society of human beings are supposed to be like?
Well it is in Christianity, because it is written in the scriptures. Not just once, but 4 times I found it. 1 as above 2 in Romans 16:16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. The churches of Christ greet you.”3 in 1 Corinthians 16:20 “ All the brethren greet you. Greet one another with a holy kiss. ”and 4 in 1 Peter 5:14 says“ Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to you all who are in Christ Jesus.“
I have been to churches where there is real warmth. Love for one another is completely evident. To others where a big welcoming hug awaits you, to others where it’s a polite but from a distance handshake and others where it’s a wry smile and what can only be construed as a half twisting nod of the head is the maximum. Where all these fit, I don’t know, but for me it doesn’t matter whether you are the Bishop of Durham or its your first time. If you are in Christ, you should welcome one another equally. In devotion to God the Father. The holy kiss means sanctified, that it is non emotional or sensual .
Today, I, like Bertie met one of the neighbours. John, the retired English fireman was out the back doing some work for my friend. I was out chatting to him when we heard “Allo, Allo“, it was a lady who owns the cottage from down the road. She introduced herself as Monique and welcomed me with a food gift of crepes, similar to our pancakes only much nicer. We chatted for a while and then Monique went on her way. How nice and friendly I thought “ Greet one another with holey crepes“!!!
I have compiled a format for a reading plan for the Bible to start on Monday the 13th of November. It will take approximately 1 hour per day and be completed in 11 weeks. 77 days on Sunday 28th of January 2018. I do hope you join in and read alongside.
Watch for more information over the coming days.