John the Baptist played a very special role in the history of salvation. How special? Jesus answers that in today’s Gospel reading from Matthew 11. The children of Israel were awaiting the return of Elijah to usher in the age of the Messiah. (The Jews today still are.) Jesus told the people, “If you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah, the one who is to come.” Wow…
For many years, I’ve been fascinated by the notion of the hand of God. There are dozens of references throughout the Scriptures about the hand of the Lord. We see one in today’s first reading from Isaiah 41. “…That all may see and know, observe and understand, that the hand of the Lord has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it.” At the beginning of today’s reading, there is a sort of indirect reference also. “I am the Lord, your God, who grasp your right hand.” With what would God grasp our right hand? With His hand, of course.
The hand is one of God’s greatest wonders, wouldn’t you agree? Take a moment to look at your hand. Move it around. Make a fist and open it up. Isn’t is amazing the way the muscles and bones all work in tandem to do so many things? The hand can be used to strike and cause injury. It can also be used to heal, to touch tenderly. We use it to point the way and give direction. And we use it to hold things, like the hand of a child. I often tell people that God has them right in the palm of His hand. Today, let’s hold out our hand and let God grasp it, to love us and lead us and guide us wherever He wants us to go.
Father, we thank you for taking us by the hand with your mighty hand. Lead us down the path that you have set out for us from all time. Amen.
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