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Jackson column: Just kiss and say goodbye

“And as soon as he was come, he goeth straightway to him and saith, Master, Master; and kissed him. And they laid their hands on him, and took him.” (Mark 14:45-46)
Throughout history, people have used the kiss to convey various messages and intention. Within a kiss, an attempt is made to pass from one person to another a feeling, a sentiment or an emotion. The late, great James Brown was often heard to say, “I feel so good, I want to jump back and kiss myself!”
As you can imagine, there are several connotations of a kiss. There’s the “Kiss of Death,” associated with mafia types. This type of relationship will lead inevitably to personal catastrophe.
Some people “kiss up.” They act obsequiously. They do anything to gain favor even to the point of being vulgar or obnoxious.
You know you’re getting on somebody’s last nerve when they become enraged and tell you to kiss their derriere. If you were pulled out of the water after almost drowning, you would want artificial respiration or the “kiss of life.”
Since we are in the neighborhood, we might as well mention “lip service,” which is best described as a vow of allegiance that goes no further than an expression of words. It is talking loud, but saying nothing.
The mouth backs the lips. In conversation, the mouth talks. There are many messages in kisses where the lips speak to life’s situations. Kisses say, “Hello;” kisses say, “I love you;” kisses show affection and desire; kisses are signs of admiration and respect; and kisses give approval and say, “Congratulations.”
Over the years, people have used a kiss as the conversation of passion. I believe if you think for a moment you might remember your first kiss. One of America’s greatest Supreme Court justices, Judge Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “The sound of a kiss is not so loud as that of a cannon, but its echo lasts a great deal longer.”
Be careful who you kiss or who kisses you because every set of lips that look juicy and soft might not measure up to your expectations. Who knows what’s hiding behind the lipstick.
A kiss can fool you. Ask Isaac who was fooled by Jacob (the trickster) and gave away Esau’s blessing and inheritance. A kiss can woo you. Ask Samson who was hoodwinked by Delilah who turned him over to the Philistines in exchange for 1,100 pieces of silver (Judges 16:30).
A kiss can deceive you. Ask Amasa who greeted the Israeli captain Joab with a kiss, not recognizing the sword in his friend’s hand.
The popular jewelry store chain Kay Jewelers produced a commercial a few years ago with a jingle saying, “Every kiss begins with K.” Realistically, some kisses begin with “T” for trickery, treason and turmoil. Such was the case of Judas Iscariot in 29 AD who concluded that though it hurt to abandon his relationship with Jesus Christ and not look back, it was the best resolution for all parties involved.
So he made a decision, the ramifications of which he could never imagine. He betrayed the Son of Man for 30 pieces of silver. Then he kissed the Christ of God and essentially said, “Goodbye.”
Wait a minute. When Judas used the kiss to identify Jesus, it was more than an accusation. It was a pitiful man telling the lover of his soul, “I don’t want you anymore.” However, Judas forgot to read the fine print when he signed up to follow Jesus. It says, “Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you; and I will take you one a city, and two a family, and I will bring you to Zion” (Jeremiah 3:14).
Jesus could not even reject a traitor like Judas Iscariot. That’s why Jesus called Judas “friend” after he kissed him. It is his divine nature to embrace, forgive and reconcile us even when we plan to do wrong.
I’m so glad I can’t kiss God and say goodbye. God won’t take his eye off me. He won’t take his hand off me. I tried to avoid him, but every time I turn around goodness and mercy stalk me all the days of my life. I decided to see someone else; maybe then he would leave me alone. He said, “I’ll never leave you nor forsake you.
I ran with the world and laid up with money. I danced with the flesh and even made friends with the enemy. Yet Jesus declares, “Lo I am with you alway, even to the end of the world.”
Dr. George B. Jackson is founder and chairman of Citadel of Faith Christian Fellowship, Inc.

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