29 10 2019

Untitled Design

The first two albums I ever bought with my own money both were Beatles records. It was 1964 and I too was swept up in the music that was being introduced to us Americans from across the pond. To this day, I can still sing all the words of all the songs because I surely played them enough through the years. One of the tunes was called, “P.S. I Love You.” The lyrics went something like this: “Treasure these few words till we’re together, here’s all my love forever, P.S. I love you, you, you, you!” Back in the days of Tin Pan Alley, there was another popular standard with the same title written by Johnny Mercer. That one went something like this: Dear, I thought I’d drop a line.
The weather’s cool, the folks are fine. I’m in bed each night at nine. P.S. I love you.”

Like many of you, I actually had to take Latin Class back in grade school. In a letter, as in any written communication, we learned that the abbreviation “P.S.” stands for the Latin phrase “post scriptum” which means “after writing.” It is meant to reflect the fact that the text marked with the initials was added after the other material had already been written, often as an afterthought; as such, it typically occurs at the very end of the letter, usually below the signature.

Many times, in a “love letter,” the juiciest parts are included in the P.S. part of the correspondence. For example, here is just such an example that I swiped from the real deal. It reads, “My Darling… P.S. I wish I knew your thoughts better. I worry about messing this relationship up, saying the wrong thing, saying too much, not saying enough. I know, I need to relax. Relaxing. See you soon. I Love You.” It’s a good lesson for us not to skip a P.S. especially in a note written from someone we claim to love.

This past weekend, I entitled my message at the Lighthouse Church, “P.S. I Love You.” It was based on the closing words that the Apostle Paul had for the Church in Thessalonica. Paul actually encouraged the Body of Christ there to be an affectionate bunch. He invited them to, “Greet all the Brothers and Sisters with a holy kiss.” No one is to be left out. Not even those that I refer to as the “ironing board” people. They are those that when you attempt to give them a hug, they get as stiff as two-by-fours! What the Lord is encouraging us to do is to provide many holy hugs, lots of spiritual smooches, and timely touches to show our love and devotion for one another. And this is for everyone who identifies themselves as a follower of Jesus.

We are family! The church is not an organization as much as it is a living and breathing organism. I grew up in a very close-knit Italian Family surrounded by my Mom who is a full Italian and those Aunts who all lived in close proximity to one another. Nobody needed a phone when they had an open window. The one thing you better get used to is that you can’t go anywhere without kissing somebody hello or goodbye. It wasn’t an option. It was as common as the plastic on the furniture in the Living Room. Now some of my Aunts were very large women, so getting kissed by them was like deep sea diving in uncharted waters. You held your breath and hoped for the best. Still it wasn’t ever questioned. We were related and that was just how it was done.

When you are a kisser and a hugger and you encounter those, who aren’t exactly open to such invasion of personal space, it can cause for some interesting body language. Still, Paul shared this hope with everybody that through a physical gesture called a holy kiss, a sign of affection, others would feel loved. God wants us to share our love demonstrably. He surely was very hands on in demonstrating His love for us. Touch is very important. It speaks volumes. It carries tenderness. It carries affection. There are many people who live all by themselves so the church is their best opportunity to be hugged and kissed by fellow loved ones.

Now, let’s make it very clear that it was supposed to be a holy kiss. This was strategically placed there by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to teach Christians to reach out and demonstrate their love with tenderness and with no hint of an immoral agenda. We all know that such practices were abused then and abused now. But that did not mean that just because it was done wrong that it should never be done again. We live in a culture of extremism. We can’t be family in a sterile setting where nobody embraces and lays their hands upon one another. Even our dogs expect to be petted. How can our children live without hugs and high fives? This was not some liturgy, and this wasn’t some religious ceremony. The followers of Jesus made up a loving community and Paul says to not hesitate to show it.

They were a loving group and he says now show it. Paul is saying that he wants us to share the love of Christ in a demonstrable way with each other. Hey even Sports Teams are not afraid to show visible admiration to one another. Why don’t we have holy handshakes after a someone in the family of God knocks it out of the park for Jesus? I am praying that God’s Church would become the place to be when you need a hand on your shoulder or a hug of remembrance. We can’t love one another and hold them at arm’s length. God wants us to break down those barriers that rise up among people and keep us apart. Greeting one another with a holy kiss is just as spiritual as praying for them. Oh, that God would touch many lonely hearts through the power of reaching out to one another in Jesus Name!

The Bible is not an instruction manual as much as it is God’s love letter to each and every one of us. And I have a feeling that if we were to read a personal note from Heaven to us today, there would be nothing holding the Lord back from fully expressing the true commitment that He has for each and every one of us. He would literally tell it like it is in a language you and I would fully understand. And even after He might sign His name, I can imagine there would be a P.S. attached with the sentence, “I Love You.” Jesus went the distance to make sure that someday we would finish our race in His arms. Why would we be any different in demonstrating our love for Him and for one another. A holy hug, a holy kiss, a holy touch may be just what the Savior ordered.



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