Sunday, July 9, 2023
Believers in Christ are brothers and sisters with each other.  They are not only friends of Jesus,  but they are also the younger brothers and sisters of Jesus who share the same Abba Father.  Beginning very early in the history of the early churches, Christians shared this family kiss — the sacred kiss of blessing and love — with each other as a part of their worship gatherings.  The sacred kiss may have developed as part of the love feast — possibly a common meal shared along with Communion. [ 5] The concept of a love feast as part of the church gathering may have also derived from the common practice of the sacred kiss, something commanded and widely practiced in the early churches.
Far from a gathering of anonymous people for a large worship gathering, the early church was rooted in authentic fellowship, the kind of fellowship Jesus describes in His teaching on genuine fellowship! 
So, rather than practicing the holy kiss as little more than a worship agenda item to accomplish in our gathering of strangers in a worship service, we must move to a greater sense of belonging, accountability, responsibility, encouragement, and support for our brothers and sisters in Christ. Such fellowship means getting involved with each other, loving each other in tangible and practical ways,  and knowing enough about each other and our lives that we know how to encourage and build each other up. We must not settle for going to church and having worship done to us or for us. Let's invest ourselves in worship that is rooted in the kind of fellowship Jesus shared with his disciples, both men, and women.
Father, please forgive us for becoming a gathering of strangers in many of our church worship services. Draw us closer to each other and more deeply committed to authentic fellowship. We want the holy kiss, the kiss of love between brothers and sisters in Christ, to mean something special and authentically display our family-styled love for each other. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.
'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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