The hands of Jesus

The hands of Jesus

Just before we turned in for the night on Christmas Eve, my husband asked:

“How was your year?”

The question caught me off guard, as he would typically ask about my day, and not an entire year’s worth of days. I could not answer immediately, but upon further reflection, I realised that much of my 2023 was spent scurrying from one small task to another in a somewhat endless cycle. Planning each week’s menu, getting groceries, making sure the family gets enough home-cooked meals, juggling caregiving duties and schedules, doing household chores, finding ways to engage the little one, putting together holiday itineraries, serving in church, holding a full-time job—all these were on repeat throughout the year; and soon, weekends merged into weekdays to form an endless loop. I am sure this sounds all too familiar, especially to those who are working parents. To the youth, this would be what “adulting” looks like!

In this fallen world, it is easy to allow work to consume us. If we are not careful, we can perceive our vocation as drudgery, our caregiving as burdensome, and the endless cycle of tasks as enslaving. However, as Christians, this need not be the case. Our Lord Jesus has come to redeem our work, and calls us to do every task, great or menial, in his name, with thankfulness in our hearts (Colossians 3:17). Jesus himself was no stranger to menial tasks. He washed the feet of his disciples (John 13:4–5), ensured that people had food to eat (Mark 6:30–44), and often attended to those who were looked down upon or forgotten by society.

The children’s hymn, “Jesus’ Hands Were Kind Hands” (United Methodist Hymnal, 273), serves as my personal reminder about how “hands-on” our Lord was—even with small tasks—and how he calls us to imitate him. The lyrics read:

Jesus’ hands were kind hands, doing good to all,
healing pain and sickness, blessing children small,
washing tired feet, and saving those who fall;
Jesus’ hands were kind hands, doing good to all.

 Take my hands, Lord Jesus, let them work for you;
make them strong and gentle, kind in all I do;
let me watch you, Jesus, till I’m gentle too,
till my hands are kind hands, quick to work for you.

(Margaret Cropper, 1979)

May this song serve as an encouragement to each of us as we work for the Lord!

Amelia Leo is a Programmes Executive at the Methodist School of Music. She worships at Fairfield Methodist Church with her husband, Joshua, and daughter, Faith.