I don’t usually post about my faith. I should amend that to say that I am always posting about my faith but I don’t usually post about it in quite this much detail. This, being the day before Easter, however I feel compelled to put some things down. This feast day is the reason that those of us who profess to be Christians, um, profess to be Christians. Without Easter, Christianity makes no sense, really…so there you have it.
For whatever reason I’ve been contemplating lately The Holy Kiss. This phrase has come to me again and again in the last year and it was just today that I thought to google it. I was contemplating writing a poem or a song or something. It’s just such a good visual, filled with all kinds of promise, yes?
In the early Christian church there developed a ritual greeting which was called “the Holy Kiss.” It was common in the culture to greet one another with a kiss. This practice, during gatherings of Christians though moved beyond the traditional nicety. It became a sign of such deep affection that it came to be seen as a sacred act. It was one of the things which DEFINED them as community.
We see the remains of this in some church services which embrace the “sign of peace” or “passing the peace.” For the most part, however, in our own culture we’ve moved away from the physical touch, away from showing this deep affection for one another. It is simply not done. It’s not alright. It’s not accepted.
I find though that I am drawn inexplicably to this idea. It’s an intruiging one especially for the latent German Catholic in me; this part of me which shies away from touch because of my own fears. The little voice present in the back (or sometimes front) of my head which tells me that I am not worthy of touch…I am not soft enough, I am not warm enough, I am not deserving of it.
This then takes me right into the acts of Christ in the New Testament…touching the untouchable, using his hands to heal and of course, my favorite; the story of the bleeding woman. When the hem of Christ’s robe is touched by the woman he FEELS it. Christ was all about touch, all about the Holy Kiss.
I wonder if He knew that it would be this very Holy Kiss which would signal His betrayal.
These are the thoughts that drive through my mind today, Holy Saturday…the day that I, as a follower of Christ and believer in His divinity, wait. We, as a body, wait for the chance to greet one another anew, on Easter Sunday with the realization that He is Risen and perhaps one day…the return of The Holy Kiss.