GREET ONE ANOTHER: Unveiling The Practice of Greeting in the Ekklesia

By Jesudamilare Adesegun-David

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“Greet Priscilla and Aquila… likewise, greet the church [ekklesia] that is in their house…” Romans 16:3-5

With this, the bulk of Romans 16 commences—greet! Sprinkled all through Paul’s epistles is the injunction to “greet one another”.

Who could have thought that something so profound was “hidden” within the seemingly ordinary exhortation to greet one another!

I believe this is one of the more profound truths that listening to Henry Hon and later reading “One: Unfolding God’s Eternal Purpose from House to House” brought me to partake of.

In the past one or two weeks, I have been having a peculiar sense that much of what the Father has been doing in our land will be sustained by the practice of greeting the saints in the different locations they are found. Though I consider myself a private person; one who loves to remain indoors much of the time, this statement has just kept ringing: Greet one another!

After the initial euphoria of meeting groups of saints or even individual believers with whom we experience sweet fellowship, there is the tendency of inertia setting in on both sides. The only way to prevent this unhealthy plateauing of relationships is to proactively greet and keep on greeting one another.

Greeting one another delivers us from suspicions, assumptions and other negative things that the adversary of the Lord’s Ekklesia could want to whisper in our ears about our fellow saints. It is the continual fuel to the fire of the Love which has been shed abroad in our hearts towards one another. It keeps on substantiating the verity that we have indeed passed from death to life because we love the brethren. We will continually seek out means to be in touch and to see and have sweet fellowship with anyone we love. So, to greet one another is to testify to the love we share with one another in Christ.

Henry puts it this way: The word “greet” is not just saying “hi” when we walk past someone. The word for “greet” in the Greek means, “to embrace, to become joined with that person, to enter into an intimate dialogue.” Additionally, the verb form for “greet” here [in Romans 16] is aorist middle deponent imperative, which means Paul was commanding whoever received his letter to take continual action to go and greet those listed. Because believers today are to obey the Scriptures just as the first century, they should take similar action to go and greet brothers and sisters in other homes and groups. They should continue to do this regardless of whether they have done so in the past.(One, pg. 227)

Again, As the number of believers in Rome who read Paul’s letter increased, the greetings and thus the fellowship among the saints grew exponentially. What a beautiful sight and testimony to the oneness of believers as they go from house to house greeting each other! (ibid, pg. 228)

Father, here is my prayer:Lead me out to indeed seek out and greet Your children wherever they are. Break the inertia within. Let me be a conduit of the delight You have in them. Let our greeting of one another redound to an overflow of Your love amidst Your Body that the world may believe that You sent our Lord Jesus Christ. This I ask in and as Your Son, Jesus. Amen.