Greet all God’s people in Christ Jesus. The brothers and sisters who are with me send greetings. Philippians 4:21
I wrote a series of poems on verses within the book of Philippians. The one for today’s verse is entitled, More Than Howdy,
On this Monday Mantra, I want to dig a little deeper into the first sentence of this verse. Paul is closing his letter to the church in Philippi and includes his closing salutation. What is so important about a greeting?
To Greet in greek is Ἀσπάσασθε (Aspasasthe) from strong’s 782. It means to welcome, salute, to say hello. It’s origin includes and extending or enfolding of the arms.This could have started with a hug and transformed into a wave. Even today we give air hugs from a distance as a way of communicating “you are important to me”.
The word All is actually better translated as each and every one. In other words, every person as an individual is brought into the welcome. Rather than looking at the whole, each and every individual is represented in the All.
God’s people is the Greek word for saints or holy ones. Those who are in Christ Jesus are considered His holy ones. This doesn’t mean we exclude others who are not followers of Jesus. Rather, it is a reminder to always remember our brothers and sisters in Christ to be included in our greetings. Have you ever avoided another believer?
Let me give my paraphrase of Paul’s closing as a southern boy. “Don’t forget to make sure you hug and welcome every child of God who is a follower of Jesus.”
Why is this greeting so important?
- It makes the lonely and isolated feel connected. How many times have people come to a church service and left thinking no one noticed their presence?
- It establishes the reconnecting of the body of Christ to build up one another in love.
- It reinforces a sense of belonging in which we all need at some level
- It highlights, “I belong here” feeling of connectedness.
- It creates a memory of appreciation which lingers well past the greeting
How many people did you greet at church on Sunday? What was the depth and quality of your greeting? Did you hug, or handshake anyone? Not going to delve into the “holy kiss” expression, but greeting and connecting are vital for a healthy church body.
On this Monday Mantra, there is a blessing in extending warm greetings which flows back and forth between the blessy and the one being blessed. Paul’s encouragement is far more than a closing. A heartfelt greeting brings health to the body of Christ of which you are a member. Greetings to you my friend.
Blessings Love y’all