Daily Devotion, 07/14/2018, “Air Kiss”
1 Thessalonians 5:25 NIV Greet all God’s people with a holy kiss.
Two weeks ago tomorrow, I preached through a translator at a church in Bayamo, Cuba. This was our team’s first full day in a country that I had never been to before so I was largely unaware of the customs there. After the service, I was asked by the pastor to stand by the back door as the congregation made their way out. Our tradition in the south is to hug the ladies and to give the men a firm handshake but I noticed there that the pastor and the translator were kissing the women. I also noticed that the women were kind of kissing me. It looked to me like the custom was for men and women to kiss each other on the cheek kind of like some of our more seasoned ladies tend to do here. Having figured out the goodbye custom, I kissed the next couple of ladies through on their cheeks only to notice puzzled, “this American doesn’t know what he’s doing” kind of a looks on their faces as they moved on. It was then that I noticed among the others that there was no actual lip to face contact going on. It was more of a germ free, safe space, air kiss. The cheeks touched a little but the kisses intentionally did not land. For the rest of our Cuba experience, I said my hellos and goodbyes to the ladies with excellent air kiss form.
I’m not sure if those were “holy” kisses or some custom imported from Spain or Russia but they for sure made for warm welcomes and good byes. As you greet your brothers and sisters in the faith this weekend, greet them in a way that is warm and welcoming. If you want to shock them, include a little lip action. Actually, that may get you slapped or excommunicated so maybe just stick with the hug and/or handshake :)
You are loved!
PS It’s Saturday and you’ll likely get at least one sermon this weekend so I decided to keep the devotion a little light today. Blessings!