What’s in a greeting?
That’s a word we see a lot of during this time of year. Have you ever thought what “greeting” means?According to the dictionary the definition is: the act or an instance of welcoming or saluting on meeting.
The angel Gabriel greeted Mary, the mother of Jesus in Luke chapter 1. He said,
Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.
Wouldn’t you like to be greeted in such a way? I know I would.
A messenger from God inviting you to receive favor and to know His presence.
That got me thinking. What if greetings were more than a mindless exchange of words, “How are you? Fine and you?” We say these things so robotically and don’t really expect any sort of honest answer. What if we greeted one another like the definition? What if we greeted one another like Gabriel?
Acting in a welcoming fashion is a a bit different than tossing a worn out phrase. To receive others with gladness requires word and deed. To act in a way that brings favor and God’s presence involves risk and boldness. Gabriel came to Mary on a mission. To deliver the news she would be the mother of Jesus and to bring God’s love to her in a way she would need. There must have been moments for Mary where the only thing holding her together was the fact that God favored her and was present with her. Confusion and darkness cannot diminish this reality.
There’s a lot of power in a greeting!
Every morning God greets me with His mercy. (Lamentations 3:22-23) He leads my weary body and soul to believe beyond the condition of my world. His greatness prevails and rises from the heap of my present state, He cannot fail with what He has promised. His greeting inspires me.
As I enter this holiday season I’m thinking more about the concept of “greetings”. Maybe there is more to it than a simple verbal exchange? Could a greeting make a difference in someone’s day? Could it make a difference in my day?
Let’s do a holiday experiment!
What would happen if we became intentional in greeting one another? What if we hugged more, shook hands with more grip, or if we really gazed into the eyes of someone instead of just glancing at each other when greeting. Would our conversations be richer if instead of saying “How are you?” we said, “I’m really glad to see you!” or “You just make my day a little better!”
When greeting a friend or guests for a gathering actively welcome them into something great. Buy them the coffee this time, make your visit together special by preparing them a meal made just because you want them to feel favored. Greet a neighbor with an act of kindness to bring compassion and peace into their day. Perhaps our greeting, be it word or deed, will be exactly what someone else might be needing today?
Make greeting someone a verb these next few weeks. Let’s see what will happen!