Freeing Our Hands
I will tell of your name to my brothers and sisters;
in the midst of the congregation I will praise you…
Last weekend I had the opportunity to offer praise to God “in the midst of a congregation” at a friend’s wedding. I relish the opportunity to worship from a different perspective, to receive from God amid brothers and sisters instead of in front of them.
I also enjoy these opportunities to observe the various ways we worship. There was one particular moment in the wedding service that spoke to me. After the priest read the gospel lesson, he walked off to the side. The Bible and notebook he had held until then were placed on a small table. He walked back to the center of the chancel, directly in front of the bride and groom, and with nothing in his hands, he spoke to them. The words of his homily were very good, but what I remember was that there was nothing between him and the couple. His hands were free to minister to them without barrier.
Our hands are often full, juggling tasks and responsibilities. We carry burdens so many that our fingers are sore from trying to hold them. Unintentionally, all the things we carry can easily separate us from one another —and from the God who asks us to lay everything down. How much more effective would our ministry with one another be if we took the time to free our hands?
When our hands feel heavy this week, let’s take a moment to pause and open empty hands to heaven. Surrender those burdens. Ask God to remove that which separates us from him. Let’s free our hands so our hearts might be full of his glory!
all good things to each of you,
Lectionary Texts for Sunday, October 21, 2018
Job 38:1-7, (34-41)
Psalm 104:1-9, 24, 35c