Series: Followers of Jesus
Message: In the Community
Preacher: Jessyka Dooley
Reflection: Jessyka Dooley
Live Wonder: Zan Long
Live Adventure: Zan Long
Live Purpose: Kyle Smith
Editor: Becky De Oliveira
Refresh: Begin with prayer. Ask for the Holy Spirit to open your heart to new understanding and for God’s character to be revealed.
Read: Romans 16:1-16 in the English Standard Version (ESV). Note 1–3 insights or questions.
Reflect: Paul ends this section in Verse 16 by saying, “Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.” I can only imagine the looks I would get if tomorrow when I get up to preach at Boulder Church, I asked everyone to stand, say hello to someone new, and greet them with a holy kiss! Ha! If you need a good afternoon chuckle, just imagine this happening in your church family or community. Obviously, it is not the norm in our culture in the United States to greet acquaintances with a kiss. John R. W. Stott does a great job in addressing this command from Paul and not dismissing it because it is counterintuitive to our culture today:
Paul concludes his list of individual greetings with two univerals. The first is that, although only a few of them have been greeted by name they must all greet one another with a holy kiss. The apostles Paul and Peter both insisted on this, and the Church Fathers took it up. . . . The logic is that our verbal greeting needs to be confirmed by a visible and tangible gesture, although what form the “kiss” should take will vary according to culture. For those of us who live in the West, J. B. Phillips paraphrases: “Give one another a hearty handshake all round for my sake.” (p. 398)
There is something important about physical touch. Now, you might be thinking physical touch is at the bottom of my love languages assessment. I don’t need anyone hugging me or giving me a hearty handshake! Regardless of your love languages score, everyone needs some amount of physical touch. I love how Stott puts it, saying that, “our verbal greeting needs to be confirmed by a visible and tangible gesture . . .”
A school teacher set up a system for her kids to have more positive interactions with one another. Each day one child is chosen to be the greeter of the day. As the rest of the kids enter the classroom they can point at symbols on a piece of paper to indicate if they would like a hug, a high-five, a fist bump, or a handshake.
What would our communities look like if we went the extra mile to confirm our greeting of one another with a visible, tangible gesture?
Recalibrate: What role does positive physical interaction play in our lives as followers of Jesus?
Respond: Find someone to pray with today. When you pray with them, hold their hands or put a hand on their shoulder. Hug them before you go.
Research: Watch the video of this pre-K class starting the day right!
Remember: “Let me introduce to you our sister Phoebe. She is a deacon in the church at Cenchreae. I want you to welcome her in the Lord, as is proper for one of God’s people” (Romans 16:1-2, KNT).
Jessyka Dooley has served Boulder Adventist Church since 2015 when she first arrived as a pastoral intern. After returning to Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska, where she finished her degree, Jessyka returned as a full-time associate pastor in May of 2016. She grew up in Washington State and is a graduate of Auburn Adventist Academy. Jessyka is a dual citizen of he United States and Switzerland. She married Kiefer Dooley in October of 2018.
A kiss hello is the sweetest thing. The Bible says in Romans 16:16 to greet each other with a holy kiss. With your little one, exchange kisses. They are most likely sloppy kisses but still very sweet and full of love. Enjoy every precious one.
Read what the Bible says in Romans 16:1-16. These verses have us reading about the people Paul wants to remember and why. It is like their faces have popped into his brain and he wants to share why he is thankful for them. Think about the people in your family and your community. Be like Paul and think about all that you are thankful for about each person, then tell someone about it.
This past weekend, I attended a local Hillsong conference in Kansas City called “The Cause Conference.” I am friends with the pastor of the Hillsong Church here and he invited me and my wife to come with our team. When my wife and I walked into the venue, we were greeted by a lady who knew our name, took us to amazing seats with our names on them, gave us water bottles (and not just any water—Fiji water!), and checked up on us all weekend. I can’t tell you how cool it was to be greeted in such a special way! After attending this conference, my whole perspective has changed. These people who didn't even know me were so intentional about making sure I felt greeted and cared for. How is your church doing when it comes to greeting people? I hope it is doing really well, but if not, how can it improve? I want to encourage you to greet people like you mean it! It could change someone’s whole day.