Tiny hands …

20th Dec 2022

Something nearly all of us do with a tiny baby is to reach out a finger, and the little one usually grasps our finger, astonishingly tightly. It’s called the Palmar Grasp Reflex, but it is much more than that name. It’s a human to human connection, a moment of joyful welcome and intimacy. 
It isn’t hard to imagine Joseph and Mary doing that with Jesus. The journey from Nazareth had been hard; and there was no welcome in Bethlehem. Mary’s birth pains were like every mother, there was no pretty crib, just a manger. 
But imagine Joseph reaching out a work-scarred finger; Mary a petite finger. And both looking in joy and wonder at the Christ child that God had entrusted to them. 
Those were the hands of God that flung stars into space; God who touched untouchable lepers; God who embraced children; and God who with a touch healed the blind. Those were the hands of God who reached out and calmed the wind and waves; God who touched a coffin, and a dead man lived again.
And those hands of Jesus were nailed to a Roman cross. 
The traditional nativity doesn’t have Jesus wrapped in swaddling cloths, as the Bible says. The traditional nativity has Jesus, a baby in a manger, with His hands flung wide open. 
Open as they were on the cross; but also open to welcome you and me. Yes, sinners, wretches like us, like me. Forgiven by Jesus, made right with God and ready for heaven. 
Christmas is God, in Jesus, by grace, welcoming you and me. Whoever we are. Whatever we’ve done. 
May you have a blessed Christmas and New Year, 2023; reaching out your hand to God who has, in Jesus, reached out to you. 
Rev. Andrew Campbell
St. Columba’s Presbyterian Church