1 Peter 5:13–14
13 She who is in Babylon, elect together with you, greets you; and so does Mark my son. 14 Greet one another with a kiss of love.
Both Peter and Paul loved people. They had genuine care and love for those they ministered to and ministered with. In the church we should have our closest friendships. These are people we have sacrificed with, labored with, and even suffered with. These are people we have prayed with over very difficult issues. We have counseled each other regarding serious life issues and seen God work us through them. These are people we have laughed and cried and sang and worshipped with. These are people who have influenced our children for God’s kingdom and glory. In the church we have friends who pass the friend stage and truly become our brothers and sisters even closer than our blood brothers and sisters.
As a result of this closeness, Peter encourages these dear friends and spiritual family members to greet one another with a kiss of love. The corresponding greeting today would be a handshake and a hug. In the greeting we should be so genuine that the one receiving our greeting knows that all is well between us. The one we are greeting in Christian brotherhood and love should be so warmly greeted that they know they are important to us. The Christian greeting is spoken of throughout the Epistles as we are given a constant reminder to practice it.
A Christian greeting should be different than a greeting in the workplace and the community. And, the one receiving the greeting should know it is different. When I greet someone with friendliness it is just that; it is courtesy and maybe an obligation. But when I greet a fellow believer, a brother or sister in Christ, it is anything but obligatory. I rejoice to see them! I am so glad to be a part of their day and have them a part of my day. This is why I so love Sundays and Wednesday nights, I get to be with those I love in Christ. For not only do I give a Christian greeting but I also receive one. I get to be encouraged by you who greet me with sincerity and love.
The next time you greet a brother or sister in Christ do so with Christian love and sincerity. In your greeting let them know that everything is well between you and that you are genuinely happy to see them. Communicate warmth and acceptance as you would to a dear family member. Make the Christian family that you are a part of the closest family that you have and begin this with a loving greeting.