BE THE HANDS OF JESUS
There are three ways the title of this blog can be interpreted. The first is to envision hands, our hands, reaching for Jesus Himself, to touch Him….to grasp His Spirit, to imitate His character in purity and wisdom; and to hold on to His principles of compassion and goodness.
The second way is to realize that the only way some people will ever know Jesus is by seeing what our hands are willing to do for them. In a real sense, our hands are the hands of Jesus; reaching out to others for Him by doing what He would do if He were here in the flesh.
Yet another way is to see Jesus in every other person in our world. This was the mantra of Mother Teresa. She saw Jesus in each person she cared for, and they saw Jesus in her compassion.
Born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in Albania in 1910, known as Mother Teresa, she founded the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, India when she was only 40 years old. For another 40-plus years she ministered to the poor, sick, orphaned and dying, while guiding the Missionaries of Charity’s expansion, first throughout India and then in other countries.
By the 1970s, Mother Teresa had become internationally famous as a humanitarian and advocate for the poor and helpless. In 1979, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. She refused the conventional ceremonial banquet given to laureates and asked that the $192,000 funds be given to the poor in India, stating that earthly rewards were important only if they helped her help the world’s needy. When Mother Teresa received the prize, she was asked, “What can we do to promote world peace?” She answered, “Go home and love your family.”
Her death in 1997 was mourned in both secular and religious communities. She was not perfect….no one is, but she was a prominent example of hands reaching for Jesus.
Jesus told his disciples this parable:
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, `Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, `Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, `I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ (Matthew 25:31-40).
The apostle Paul said, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. (Colossians 3:23, 24).
When Coventry Cathedral in England was bombed in the Second World War, there was a statue of Jesus with His arms stretched out, as if reaching out to the world. During the bombing, those arms were broken off. When they came to fix the statue, the Minister said, “No, please leave it a bit longer as a visual aid, for us to see that Jesus wants to use our arms to reach the lost, to feed the poor, to help the needy and to reach out in His name.”
“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf…….” (2 Corinthians 5:20).
Things our hands can do for Jesus:
- Good deeds with sssssh, don’t tell.
- Practice random acts of kindness, recognizing that you do these things in the name of Jesus.
- Tutor a child.
- Visit the hospital.
- Take a pie to your next door neighbor.
- While in a restaurant, pay for the meals at another table. Instruct the server to give you that table’s check, quietly without notice.
- Cut someone’s grass.
Weed someone’s garden.
- Wash someone’s car.
- Plant flowers in someone’s garden.
- Scrape, prime, and paint someone’s garage or tool shed.
Pay for the food order for the car behind you in the drive-through, fast-food restaurant.
- Set aside 30 minutes a day to sit down with your children and listen to them talk without interrupting or lecturing them.
- Give your spouse a hug.
- Take notice of an elderly person to make them feel special.
- Volunteer time to a charity.
- Write a letter to a soldier.
- Pay for the toll of the car behind you on a toll road or toll bridge.
- Choose your battles wisely.
- On a windy day, pick up every garbage can you see in the street.
- Smile at everyone you meet.
- Speak kindly…..especially to your family.
- Invite a friend to come to church with you.
- For other ideas, Google “good deed ideas.”
Scripture references are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.