WEEK 1: What’s in Your Hands?
“On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ When He had said this, He showed them His hands and his side… Jesus said to them again, ‘… As the Father has sent Me, even so I am sending you.’” John 20:19-21
I am currently visiting some brothers and sisters in Beirut, Lebanon. When I spoke to my daughter on the phone yesterday, she immediately asked me whether I had had time to buy her a gift already. In about a week when we return home, I know one of the first questions my kids will ask me after I have landed is: “Daddy, what did you bring us from Lebanon?” They will not ask me how much I love them, nor will they ask how much I missed them while I was away. They will have one question: “What do you have in your hands? What gift did you bring us?” What I will have in my hands for my children (no matter how small it might be) when I get off the plane back in South Africa will show them that I deeply love them and thought about them while I was away.
In John 20, the disciples were hiding when Jesus appeared to them out of nowhere, standing right in front of them and showing them His hands. What He had in His hands – the wounds – was proof of the Father’s love. The wounds were saying something words could not. Jesus gave it all, and through those wounds, we see God’s love for us. But it does not stop there. Jesus said: “As the Father has sent Me, so I am sending you.”
Being in Lebanon right now, seeing the needs of so many brothers and sisters uprooted due to the war in Syria, I realise that these people are in need – not only to hear about God’s love for them, but also to see it. And the way they see that God loves them is for me to give something that goes beyond praying for them and that confirms the Father’s love for them. When we visit them, God’s love becomes evident not by what we say, but what we have in our hands.
May we, as we are being sent into this world like Jesus to proclaim the Father’s love for humanity, not only speak about the Father’s love but also carry something in our hands that proves there is a Loving God, caring for the people around us through what we have to give, through the way we serve and by what we do.