Monday, September 1, 2008


What, then, can we say of the kiss? Setting aside the fact that we are commanded no less than five times to kiss each other (Romans xvi, 16; I Corinthians, xvi, 20; II Corinthians xiii, 12; I Thessalonians v, 26; I Peter v, 14), there is doubtless much that needs to be written on the subject of kissing.

If I were to embark on such a literary quest, I would begin by considering the Pentecostal realities embodied in the act, paying special heed to the use of lips, tongue, mouth, and cheek, and the various theological connotations these things stir up (such as confessions of faith and confessions of sin). I would note the obvious contrast between Babel and Pentecost. I would highlight the curious redundance of the phrase "speaking in tongues" (since all speech involves tongues and langues). (And I won't even mention the fact that its Pentecostal robustness means that the kiss, too, is something that only the believer can know and do in the fullest sense of the thing.)

But not today.