Lending Our Hands

The Nazareth Page - A gospel meditation for your home

May 8th, 2022 – Fourth Sunday of Easter - John 10:27-30

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We are extraordinarily complex beings. And current science tells us that our brains might well be the most complex structures in the Universe. Certainly, they are when we compare them with all the variety of things that make up our planet. Our brains contain billions of cells. If we lined up all the neurological pathways of one brain in a row, they would encircle the earth. And nothing is more interesting to investigate and study than the nature of our brain.

But what would you consider as the second most amazing part of our bodies? Many scientists would say that would be our hands. Over thousands of years their shape and functions have evolved in countless ways.


Note also that their function in everyday life is ever increasing. For instance, watch a teen text on a cell phone. And when you think about it, our hands are that part of our bodies that we humans notice the most. How many times each day do we look at our hands?  

In common speech, we often give our hands a significant role in our lives, not only for survival but also symbolically when we want to describe something almost beyond words. When in need, we ask for another’s hand. When we greet each other, we shake hands (at least, before Covid). The same when signifying agreement. “Let’s shake on it,” we say.

We give each other our hand in marriage. When we talk about a major accomplishment, we might say that we did it “hands down.” We clap hands when expressing approval. When we express surrender or submission, we hold up our hands. And when we want to describe God’s care, we might say that we are in the protective and loving hands of God. Which is the basic message of today’s gospel.

We are well into the post-Easter part of the church’s year. We have reflected on the death and resurrection of Jesus. Soon we will recall his ascension to heaven. Does that result in our being separated from him? Or from God? Not at all.

As today’s gospel reminds us, we are forever held in the hands of God. While this may not be literal language, it can certainly communicate to us a deep truth. God’s care for each of us is real and permanent. And that is a thought we need never forget.

©David M. Thomas, PhD

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