Our hands are God’s hands to carry out his plans.

Acts 20:28-38

Our hands God's plans32 “Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. 33 I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. 34 You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. 35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

Paul worked hard, he used his hands to be a maker of tents, he also used his hands to bless people and help them in whatever way he could, not only preaching the word of God but showing them how to live their lives, as God would want them to.  

I love the reflection Christ has no hands but our hands.

Christ has no body now on earth but yours,

No hands but yours,

No feet but yours,

Yours are the eyes through which Christ’s compassion is to look out to the earth,

Yours are the feet by which his is to go about doing good,

And Yours are the hands by which He is to bless us now.

St Teresa of Avila

This reflection reminds me of my ministry.  It reminds me that we are all called to fulfil Jesus’ mission, the one he commissioned his disciples for before he left them to return to heaven.  It reminds me that God can only accomplish this by using us each and every one of us. 

Have you ever wondered why on earth are we here?  Is it to just take up space on this planet, or to use up the earths resources, to just party then die?

When Jesus commissioned the disciples, he was commissioning us.  It is a job not just for those that wear dog collars, ministry is something everyone is called to do.  It just means using your gifts and abilities to help other people. 

Whenever you use your gifts or talents, your money, your energy, your knowledge or wisdom, your physical skills or your time.  Whenever you use anything God has given you to help someone else in Jesus’ name – that is ministry.   Jesus calls us all to minister to one another in his name.

I believe that God put us here on this planet to make a difference no matter how small, we are all called to leave this world in a better place. 

God’s plans require our hands; Your hands and my hands.

Let’s look at our hands. 

Each and every hand is different, small hands or large, long fingers or short, you might have scars or they might rough or very smooth.  Our hands are a marvelous creation, they can catch a ball, they can turn a screw driver, turn a door knob.  They can read for a blind person – using braille.  We use our hands to eat, to feel, to touch, to feel hot and cold, rough and smooth. 

We use our hands to communicate with the world – via a keyboard, touch screens on our phones.

But we can also use our hands to destroy, to breakdown, for violence, to hold guns to kill each other. 

I wonder what Jesus’ hands were like? I imagine that they were rough from working as a carpenter, yet gentle as he used them to touch people who needed healing or blessing. 

Jesus used his hands a lot in His ministry, to touch, to bless, to reach out, he lifted the bread to heaven at the feeding of the five thousand, just as he did at the last supper to give thanks. 

When he was with the women caught in adultery – he didn’t use his hands to cast a stone but to draw in the sand. 

He washed the disciples feet with His hands. 

Those hands were cruely nailed to the cross. 

It was with kind hands that he was taken down and placed in the tomb. 

It was with the hands of Thomas that doubts of Jesus being a ghost were laid to rest. 

It was Jesus’ hands in the breaking of the bread, that he was recognised after the resurrection. 

So, today how can people feel the hands of Jesus? 

Quite simply through us… our hands. 

When we use them as Jesus did, to reach out, to share, to heal, to bless, to give thanks. 

God’s plans requires your hands; yours and my hands.

It doesn’t matter how old you are, or how young.  God uses our hands to carry out his ministry in the world. 

What will you do today with your hands today?

Activities for children are plentiful for today. 

I suggest that the children draw around their hands – on one hand challenge them to do something this week to help others on the other hand have the reflection available for them to copy or to stick on. 

Maybe end the session with sharing the peace with one another. 

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About Michelle Bailey

Reverend Michelle Bailey is the Rural Officer for the Bishop of Brecon and Swansea  She previously worked in Children's Ministry and was ordained in the Church of England. Her blog includes ideas on presenting concepts of faith to young children to the age of eleven and furthering faith development in an educational context. Michelle currently lives in Wales and is also developing a rural ministry blog.
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