Pastor’s Message for March

The Hands of Jesus

There are a number of references to hands in music.  I will mention some of the more well-known ones.  There is “Hold My Hand” by Hootie and the Blowfish in 1994. Michael Jackson had his own song by the same title in 2010. There is a golden oldie entitled “Willie and the Hand Jive” by Johnny Otis in 1958. Styx sang a song about “Too Much Time on My Hands” in 1981. Jewels had a song simply entitled “Hands” in 1998. The number one song about hands is The Beatle’s song “I Want To Hold Your Hand” in 1963. There are probably other songs with the word “hand” in the title, but these were listed under the top ten wedding songs.

Just think of how we hold the hand of someone that we love, or hold the hand of a young child when they cross the street to keep them safe.  It is our custom to fold our hands in prayer.  We do this so we aren’t distracted and use our hands for something else when we are trying to concentrate on our prayer. Other cultures raise their hand towards the heavens in prayer.  They do that with the idea that God’s blessings will be showered upon them from heaven and they can catch his blessings in their hands. Sometimes people say “get your hands off me,” but there are other times that they ask you to give them a hand. During this past year, we have been instructed how to wash our hands, and we have been warned not to shake hands.

Hands are often mentioned in the Bible.  There are times that leaders place their hands upon the next one to take their place.  Moses laid his hands on Joshua in Deuteronomy 34. The apostles laid their hands on the seven deacons as they were installed into their new position in Acts 6. Paul talks about laying his hands on Timothy in his two letters to Timothy. We do the same thing at confirmation.  The pastor puts his hands on the confirmand and blesses them.

The angels took Lot’s hands as he hesitated to stay in Sodom in Genesis 19.  Joshua and Hur held up the hands of Moses during their battle with the Amalekites in Exodus 17.  Priests laid their hands on the head of a burnt offering before it was sacrificed. Jesus laid his hands on the little children and blessed them in Matthew 19. Jesus at times laid his hands on those who wanted him to heal them.

This Lenten season our theme is “The Hands of the Passion.” Look at the last page of this newsletter for the list of the ways we will see that in coming months.  If we ask a little child how much they love us, they will stretch out their hands as far as they can. Jesus did the same thing for us. He stretched out his hands as far as he could and allowed them to be nailed to the cross. One of his final words that he spoke before he died was, “Father into your hands I commit my spirit.” Next time you question whether Jesus loves you, just look at his outstretched hands on the cross.

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