A Kiss

March 31, 2010
by Cassandra Wessel

I confess. I like Christian romance novels. The hero always gains the affection of the heroine. Usually there is much kissing, but in the books I read, anything beyond that is implied, never stated.

When I was growing up, our family members gave each other a kiss on the cheek as a sign of filial or parental love. Usually administered with a hug, it meant, "I love you. I am glad to see you. I accept you." It meant, "You are welcome in my life."

But in some cultures, kissing is an ordinary greeting, like a handshake. In Israel during Jesus' lifetime, a kiss of greeting was shared.

Luke 22:47-48 – While [Jesus] was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus asked him, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?" (NIV)

Judas' kiss contained a bizarre twist. It bore the opposite meaning from the norm. It was a kiss of betrayal. Thus, the expression "Judas kiss" has come to mean betrayal.

This got me to thinking. Have I ever "betrayed" Christ with a kiss? Have we? I believe many of us have, if we define "betrayal" as destroying good by embracing evil.

Whenever we "kiss" pride, we court evil. Whenever we "kiss" rebellion, we court the author of rebellion. Whenever we "kiss" lust, we embrace destruction. Whenever we "kiss" anger, we damage relationships. Whenever we "kiss" greed, we reap certain disaster — as many greedy people discovered in the recent economic collapse.

To sin is to "Judas kiss" — which is the ultimate danger to our souls when we continue in it, unrepentant. But when we turn to Christ, confess our sin, and ask forgiveness, God will surely forgive and restore us into relationship with Himself.

Prayer: Lord God, holy is Your name. May Your kingdom come and Your will be done on earth as in heaven. We confess that we have "kissed" sin, instead of embracing Your way. We return with contrite hearts. For Jesus' sake, forgive us. We ask for mercy and deliverance from every evil. We pray for grace to live as You have called us to live, and we give You the glory, for we pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

About the author:

Cassandra Wessel <casswessel@ymail.com>
Tionesta, Pennsylvania, USA

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