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The Kiss

What one show of affection taught me about preaching

It was a Sunday evening in August, and I had just finished my sermon. I gave the benediction, stepped down from the platform, and headed in the direction of my wife, who was chatting with a small group of ladies. I moved up behind her, gently placed my hands on her shoulders, and kissed her on the back of the head. Little did I know it would become "the kiss heard 'round the world"—well, maybe more like "the kiss heard 'round the community." Nevertheless, it was The Kiss, not the sermon, that everyone would remember from that evening.

I was in my third month of pastoring a congregation that had endured quite a beating emotionally—I'm talking about a ten-rounds-with-Oscar-De-La-Hoya kind of beating. The former pastor had resigned after the revelation of an extramarital affair. His was another marriage felled like a tree, ultimately ending in the big D. As I surveyed the difficult situation, I figured I had just the remedy: preaching. In fact, I told my wife, "I'm here to preach. ...

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