New perspectives: the touch of Jesus

One of the most useful tools I have used in prayer is imagining holding the Lord’s hand. There is something so powerful in imagining holding the Lord’s hand, something that really seems to bring His presence in a powerful way, and more than this in holding His there is a sight of His thoughts full of love.

In a passage from Emanuel Swedenborg’s work Spiritual Experiences, it tells us that thought from love or thought from affection is expressed in touch, “It has been made known to me, by living experience, that, in the touch of the hand there is affection together with thought… It is because, by means of the hand, in work, thought is determined to something living. This, also, is why the Lord touched many people” (6094). This is why the Lord touched so many people when He was on earth. He wanted to express His love for people by giving them His thoughts, or at least what they could conceive of His thoughts. From this came much healing, both spiritual and natural.

There is something so powerful in the fact that we worship a visible God. Someone who can be seen with our eyes, heard with our ears, and touched with our hands. The Lord invites us all to reach out to hold His hand and to know His thoughts. So next time you really want to connect with the Lord and invite His thoughts, imagine holding His hand and see what comes to you. You even can try it right now if you like.

At times when we try this we can feel unworthy to be calling the Lord’s presence to our lives. This is humility in us that can make us feel worthless of the Lord’s touch. Yet, no matter how undeserving we may feel, Lord always invites us to turn to Him no matter how low we have gotten, for He will give us the means to arise. He will give us His hand to lift us from our lowly state.

Sometimes we will feel like all we can do is lay at the Lord’s feet and reach out to touch the hem of His garment like the woman who was healed of the issue of blood,

As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped, “Who touched me?” Jesus asked.

When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.”

But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.”

Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed.

Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.” (Luke 8:41-47)

It is in reaching out to touch the Lord in whatever state we are in that we can be given much forgiveness. For it is through love for the Lord that we can truly be touched by Him.

The Lord wants to give each of us rest, the rest of being held in His hands. The rest of God can only be given when we are willing to do the work of seeing ourselves from the light of God’s presence. Surely there are things that God will call us to change when we come into that presence, but the first step is coming to that light and in that light of life change that God calls us to there will be rest.

Whenever I remember in my daily prayer to hold the Lord’s hand and invite His thoughts from love into my life, I find the day goes much smoother, and my mind is held more on task. It gives me a balance and health in my spiritual mind that walks with me through my day. I invite you today in prayer to reach out your hand to the Lord.

“A man with leprosy came to Jesus and knelt down. He begged, ‘You have the power to make me well, if only you wanted to.’ Jesus felt sorry for the man. So he put his hand on him and said, ‘I want to! Now you are well.’” (Mark 1: 40-43)

Ron Schnarr is an assistant pastor at the Carmel New Church in Kitchener, Ontario.

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