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Communion 2010

Hands

Originally scheduled for February 14, 2010

Picture in your mind, please, Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous painting, The Last Supper. If your memory is vivid enough you will notice a lot of conversation in that picture. Conversation? The artist portrays the conversation in the disciples’ hands. They are talking with their hands, as we would say.

Your hands do talk; they say a lot about you. For example:

Is there dirt under your fingernails? Maybe that says you enjoy gardening; maybe it says you work with your hands.

You might see scars on your hands – memories of the times you injured your hands.

How about calluses? Sherlock Holmes could identify a tradesman by the calluses on his hand; what do yours say about your job?

Look at the knuckles. Are they bent with arthritis, painful to move?

Examine the skin. Some of us will have sunburned skin; perhaps even skin cancer. Many more will have the wrinkles that signify our age.

And of course there is the unique identification of fingerprints. Your hands are yours, like no one else’s.

Some of us have one other distinctive feature to our hands: a wedding ring. It says something about you too. It says there is someone you love. It speaks loudly of your devotion.

Christ’s hands speak, too. You would see the dirt and calluses of a man who worked as a carpenter. The skin would likely be sunburned from three years as a traveling evangelist. He died a bit young to have arthritic knuckles – but scars? Scars he had, where his hands were nailed to the Cross. Like your wedding ring, those scars speak of love. Indeed, they are the scars of what Lincoln called, “the last full measure of devotion.”

You now take the cup and bread – with your hands. As you do, remember the unique pair of hands that took the nails so that you might be forgiven, that you might have eternal life. Examine yourself. His devotion to you was complete; how is your devotion to him?

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