open hands; blessing hands

18 Mar
open hands

Besides our love, ( and worship ) can I ever, ever give anything back to the Lord God? Proverbs, the book of wisdom, speaks of how I can touch Him,

Proverbs 19 speaks again and again of the poor. A central verse in this chapter is,

Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done. V. 17

The Hebrew word for poor here is ‘dal’. It means to be literally ‘thin’. Thin, financially and spiritually; thin physically and emotionally. Thin. And when we see those around us who are ‘thin’ in any way, we see the poor and and we are to give to them, to bless them with open hands. To bless as Jesus walked, lived, touched and blessed. With open hearts and open hands. Luke’s Gospel and his narrative in Acts open with such blessings,

The first person to offer a blessing in Luke’s narrative is Jesus, “Blessed are the poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God” (Luke 6:20). His heart is for the poor. But He is not speaking only to the financially needy; Jesus is speaking of the poor in spirit; the sorrowful; the meek and those who thirst for justice. The thin.

Jesus’ final blessing comes during the Ascension event, “Then he [Jesus] led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven” (Luke 24:50-51).

We don’t know what exact verbal blessing Jesus spoke over his dear disciples at the Ascension, but His words can be no more fitting words than the priestly blessing that Zechariah was never able to give in Luke 1.

The priest Zechariah was supposed to bless the crowd of people waiting outside the temple on this day of atonement. Struck mute because of his unbelief that he and Elizabeth would be parents, he never utters it. When his son is borne he blesses and prophesies, but the words he is supposed have spoken that day he was stuck mute could easily have been Jesus’ words as he ascended,

The Lord bless you and keep you: The Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you: The Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace” ( Numbers 6:24-26 ).

God blesses us so we can with open hands and open hearts bless others. Luke tells us at the his gospel’s end “ they worshiped [Jesus], and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple blessing God” (Luke 24:52).

They, Jesus disciples, complete Zechariah’s muted Numbers’ blessing. And they do so by returning to the spiritually poor in Jerusalem and worshipping.

With the poor, giving to the ‘thin’, they lend to God.

They worship; with open hands, they worship.

And so will we as we bless others with open hands. Open your hands to, with, Jesus this day, bless.

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