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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
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The hands of Jesus

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Frank Lee Jennings

cir. 1980



Tiny hands. Hands that could grasp nothing larger than a mother’s finger, or pull awkwardly at the

soft blanket wrapped all around. Hands made into miniature fists that rubbed sleep filled eyes.


Small hands. Growing hands. Hands that carried vessels to and from the well. Hands that gathered kindling into a small bundle. A child’s hands that gently caressed the small animals, then fed them.


Learning hands. Hands quick to help, before request was made. Skillful hands that learned to shape and fit rough wood into tools

Tired honest hands that were calloused


Folded hands. Attentive hands that were still as God’s word was read and prayers were made. Hands clasped in earnestness of supplication.


Confident hands. Hands of a man of thirty reaching out to take the book of the prophet Isaiah from the scribe. Hands of Jesus come of age.


Healing hands laid upon lepers covered with decaying flesh. Hands unafraid. Fingers of healing

hands removed from ears no longer deaf. Hands reaching out to the forgotten. Hands still reaching out today.


Gentle hands. Hands eagerly sought out by the little ones. Hands that ran through the tangled locks of Hebrew children, then lifted small faces

for a better look. Hands laid on little ones and blessings pronounced.


Hands of authority. Hands that overthrew tables of merchants in the house of God. Hands plaiting a scourge of cords to separate sheep from goats. Wheat from chaff.


Writing hands. Hands that wrote in the dust of the road. Hands writing mercy and forgiveness in the

heart of a woman brought before him. Hands that continue to write those same things in the hearts

of us that are made from dust.


Hands of humility. Hands that formed the twelve from dust, then came and washed the dust from

their feet. Hands still willing to wash the dust of life and sin from our feet and from our soul.


Hands of provision. Hands that blessed the bread and fishes, then multiplied them for thousands.

Hands of compassion stretched out to the multitudes they could not reach for shortness of time. Hands stretched out over the ages to us now.


Hands in the garden. Hands of supplication, stretched out to the Father’s Throne. Obedient

hands accepting the work set before them. Work ordained before time had meaning.


Hands bound. Hands led from one hypocrite to another and from mockery to mockery. Innocent

hands clean of sin. Hands with open palms and nothing to hide. Hands never raised in unjust anger. Bloodless hands.


Cruel hands. Hands beating and afflicting the one with hands so gentle. Hands plaiting a crown

of thorns and forcing it onto the head of the good shepherd.


Hands with splinters. Hands bloody, with hardly the strength to bear a wooden cross the prescribed distance to its center place on the hill. Hands nearing the end of their task.


Helping hands, also gentle, placed on the Masters blood and dirt encrusted hands to help carry the burden. Helping hands desired by the Master still. Our hands


Wounded hands. The kind and gentle hands with spikes pounded through them. Hands that could not reach toward Heaven, or stroke a child’s locks. Hands come to the dust of death.


Still hands. Hands no longer a threat to their accusers. Hands lifeless and scarred. Hands now unable to hold bread and fishes.


Grieving hands, also gentle. Preparing with spices

and ointments the body of Jesus, son of God, for burial. Hands now folded across his bosom.


Hands frozen in fear. Hands of guards at the tomb unable to move as the Angel of God rolls back the stone. Rolls back death and opens the door of grace to cover sin.


Hands alive! Hands alive forevermore. Hands again reaching for fish and honeycomb. Hands motioning, comforting and continuing the Father’s business.


Hands writing a new covenant in the dust. Writing in the heart of us formed from the dust. A perfect work written by the master of all writers.


Hands multiplied. Hands of adopted sons and daughters reaching forth with the Master’s love. Hands that have grasped the Master’s strong right hand.


The nail scars have not weakened his hands, but bear eternal witness to his utter faithfulness. Thank you Father for your hands, for they will

always strengthen and steady mine.


Psalm: 89:13 Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand.


This scripture the Lord gave me as I completed writing what He had given me. Look at your hands. He is holding them if you have given yourself to Jesus. They will be steady now, resting in the Master's hands.








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