28 July 27, 2022 Anno Domini
the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.”
(Acts 13:11; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
The Hand of the Lord is a mighty hand that cast into their orbits the earth, the moon, the sun, and all celestial bodies to set their path and to determine their place. The first chapter of the Gospel of St. John tells us that our Lord Jesus Christ is the Creator of all that exists in this material Universe – including every species of plants and animals . . . and man.
It can be a great blessing to know that the Hand of the Lord is upon us, but it may also be a fearful realization if that Hand comes upon us in judgment. There are a number of characteristic delineated in Scripture to inform us of the nature of our Lord’s Hand. My favorite comes from Isaiah “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. 16Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.” (Isaiah 49:15-16) It is a great comfort to know that our names were ENGRAVED, OR CUT, into the palms of our Lord’s Hands at Calvary by those terrible iron nails. There are too many other examples to list all, but here are a few points to treasure about the Hand of the Lord:
HEALING HANDS: There was a leper who came to Christ with his filthy rags and sores seeking healing: “And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. 3And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.” (Matthew 8:2-3) This leper had been unable even to approach anyone else due to his contagious disease, but faith brought him near to Christ and Christ did not hesitate to touch the leper with His Hand of Healing – something from which all others would recoil. The leper was healed by that Hand. That Hand healed many diseases then, and does so today : “Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them.” (Luke 4:40)
LIFE-GIVING HAND: Remember the little daughter of Jairus who lay in the cold grip of death? She was only twelve years old. Her father had thus far not been a avid believer being the ruler of the synagogue; however, desperation often drives us to faith. He came to Christ for healing, not knowing that his precious daughter was already dead. Jesus went into the death chamber of the child and took her delicate hands into His strong Hand and said, “Maid, arise!” Immediately the spirit of life returned to the maid and Christ ordered that she be given food! The Hand that Created the celestial bodies of deep space also deigned to take the hand of a child to heal it. (see Luke 8:41-56 and also Luke 7:14)
HAND OF BLESSING: Our Lord always had time for the children for He loved them. When the children were brought to him by their mothers for blessing, He did not hesitate: “Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. 14But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. 15And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence.” (Matthew 19:13-15)
HAND OF SALVATION: The impulsive Peter begged to be beckoned by the Lord who was walking of the sea. The Lord bade him come, and Peter had the nerve to get out of his safe boat and walk on the sea. As long as Peter focused on the Lord, he walked well on the turbid waters, but when he diverted his attention to the stormy waters, he began to sink. Peter uttered the shortest prayer recorded in Scripture (as far as I know), “Lord, save me!” (Matthew 14:30) This is the most simple of prayers, yet the most effectual: “But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, “Lord, save me.” 31And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” (Matthew 14:30-31)
SUSTAINING HAND: With those nail-scarred Hands, Jesus broke the Bread and served the two men on the Road to Emmaus. Those same Hands attend to our every need, if not our every desire: “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.” (Psalm 23:5)
Perhaps we would be very wise to put our own hands in the Hand that restores, heals, and saves. Let us heed the words of the popular Gospel song:
Put Your Hand In The Hand Of The Man Who Stilled The Water.
Put Your Hand In The Hand Of The Man Who Parted The Sea.