I’ve been thinking a lot lately about why parents kiss their children’s “boo-boos.” This is such a culturally ingrained practice that most of us do it on auto-pilot. But actually, the theology behind it is quite profound: it implies that the greatest healing force available to us is love. You’re in pain? Let me kiss it. You’re hurting? Let me love you.

This is a microcosm of the gospel, because it reminds us of how we— and all of creation—will be healed. It is only the loving contact of God, the “kiss” of the Creator Himself, that can heal our world. And in some mysterious way, we who belong to God get to partner with Him in this redemptive touch—we get access to this powerful force of healing and are commissioned to share it with those around us.

What does this look like in the day to day? It might look like moving toward that difficult person or family member instead of moving away from them. It might look like a willingness to bear with someone over the long haul, loving them back together one layer at a time. Or it might look like being vulnerable and opening yourself up to the healing touch of love; often the pain of past wounds causes us to avoid relationships and intimacy—and yet in doing so, we close ourselves off to the very thing that can restore us.

As we approach the holiday season, let us look for the people, the relationships, and the situations that require the kiss of Love. And in doing so, let us give ourselves fully to its healing work. “Stir up in us the flame of love which burned in the heart of your Son as he bore his passion, and let it burn in us to eternal life and to the ages of ages.” –BCP