Pastor's Corner

1 May
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Mid-Week Challenge

When we were younger, we were always told that upon meeting someone for the first time we were to extend our hand in a firm handshake while making solid eye contact.  This showed interest and respect for the other person, especially if they were older.  Living in the present age of consent and harassment, handshaking could become a thing of the past.  Employers are considering a total ban on physical contact to avoid any unwanted touching in the work place.  Kate Palmer, associate director of advisory at HR consultancy Peninsula, has looked into this and considers it a real possibility.  She says, "This ban could clear up any confusion about what touch is acceptable and what isn't - which, in turn, could avoid sexual harassment claims." 

There have been attempts at banning handshaking in the past.  These efforts had more to do with spreading germs than with keeping us from making contact with each other.    Is a total ban going too far? Many say no, all contact should be banned.  No fist bumps or "high fives" either.  But where would a ban like this lead us in society norms? We are built for relationships and a part of having a relationship with fellow humans is contact.  Even babies seek human touch. This early contact helps promote healthy psychological and physical development. Lack of physical contact can prevent normal development and can even lead to higher rates of illness or death in infants.

Throughout the Bible we are given examples of touching someone for affirmation and support and none more than Jesus.  It is often said of Him touching someone as He healed or others reaching out to Him to be healed.  As we all know, there is power in our touch. In a sinful world that power can be used for evil purposes but to remove it all together will only result in further separation among us. 

For those who grew up in the Southern culture where we hug and embrace often, this call to ban handshakes is a reminder to be mindful of our actions and how they might be interrupted, especially by people we do not know well.  But it is also an opportunity to express the importance of physical contact to human development.  We are built to desire approval, support and love from others and we are designed to want to give that same support to others.  Honest communication of one's personal desires on this subject with others will help reinforce and grow relationships much better than a total ban altogether.  As we interact and experience new cultures we grow as individuals and as a community.    

And all the crowd sought to touch him, for power came out from him and healed them all. Luke 6:19

Serving the Savior 

Bro. Jonathan

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