As we begin the journey that is 2020, I am taking some liberty with the vision idea and that in this New Year we use all of our senses to experience God’s presence.
This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. Acts 6:5-6
The past two Sundays we have ordained and installed new officers. In the Presbyterian Church, Elders, Deacons and Ministers of Word and Sacrament are ordained. We do this by laying hands on the person as we pray over them. And just like Baptism, when I lay hands on someone, and pray over them, there is something special going on. God’s presence is felt much stronger as a person is ordained and commissioned for their special calling.
But laying hands is not just for ordination. Throughout scripture the laying on of hands means healing (see Luke 4:40), receiving the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:17), and a general blessing (Mark 10:16).
The sense of touch is incredibly important. From birth to death, holding someone brings comfort. We can use touch in our daily lives to bless each other, whether holding hands during prayer, or touching someone you visit, or laying hands to pray over your children or pray for one’s healing.
Teresa of Avila is attributed with saying “Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world…” Yours. As you continue this new journey into 2020, consider how you can bless others with your hands.