Bob Kilpatrick - Kiss Me
- 2000 5 May
The music industry is built on one thing and one thing only: a good song. When the song is wonderful and is coupled with excellent talent, there's just no stopping it. When it is weak, no amount of polishing will make it anything but what it is (and we won't say what it is).
The Christian music industry is a little unique in that it is, or should be, built on a good song with the added criteria that it should have a Christian message. "Hey Jude" is a great song, but not a great Christian song. Simply by virtue of calling it Christian music, we have added an additional necessity: that the song say something about Christ or Christianity.
The Christian life is similar in that it is built on one thing: a relationship with Jesus Christ. It is not enough to simply agree with the moral virtues of the Christian philosophy, or to think that Jesus was probably a good man, or to believe that the influence of Christianity on society is positive, or to see Christians as a fertile market group with discretionary income. If you are a Christian, it is because you have a relationship with Jesus Christ. That is all. Let us consider what God wants from a relationship you.
In the Old Testament, the Hebrew phrase "el pene" is used to describe what God wants to enjoy with us. It means "face to face." The meaning is even more specific than that, because the English phrase "face to face" is open to widely varying mental images, whereas "el pene" is very focused in its meaning. It means to be toe to toe, knee touching knee, hip to hip, shoulder to shoulder, chin to chin, eye to eye, breath to breath, face to face. It means that God is calling us to close the distance between Him and us; to draw so close that there is no distance at all.
I was invited by some Maori friends to attend a marai (tribal feast) when I was in New Zealand. The Maori men greet each other by holding the back of each other's head and touching noses. Someone told me it is called the "kiss of life." It is a picture of what God wants from you. Come close. Close the distance. El pene.
The New Testament uses a similar word picture. John chapter four shows Jesus talking with a Samaritan woman at a well. I won't go into the very interesting conversation He has with her except to quote this comment He makes to her, "God is a Spirit, and those that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth." The word "worship" in the Greek is proskuneo. It means "come close and kiss." Sounds like "el pene," doesn't it? Jesus is saying that God desires the kind of worshippers that will get so close that there is no distance between them at all. They are touching in the most intimate way. Kiss the Son.
Some Christians are offended by the romantic overtones of this metaphor. It's okay to be offended. Just make sure you understand who it is that used this metaphor so you can know who to vent your anger on. Throughout the Bible, the husband/wife relationship is used as the best picture of the God/man relationship. We're even called the Bride of Christ. Did you think the honeymoon would be a platonic affair? God and His writers, from Moses to David to Solomon to Paul and John the Revelator, have all used marriage as their best picture of God and man together. El pene. Proskuneo. Come close. Close the distance. Kiss Me.
Two questions come to my mind when I contemplate this, and I must answer them in my own heart. First, how much distance is there between God and me? Second, how much distance do I want there to be? How close do I want to be? These are difficult questions for me. I'd like to think I want to get very close. El pene, proskuneo close. But, frankly, I'm a little scared of God. He has all He can do just to talk me into trusting Him. But He wants to get very close to me. Should I let Him? Should you?
Bob Kilpatrick has a new album coming out this Summer from Fair Oaks music. He wrote the classic song "(In My Life) Lord, Be Glorified" and is available for speaking and concerts. You can contact him at PO Box 2383, Fair Oaks, CA 95628, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.