Hold On There (Christmas Day)

At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises: Glory to God in the heavenly heights, peace to all women and men on earth who please him. (Luke 2: 13 – 14)

The “Hands Project,” a collection by the late photographer Martin Lueders, contains pictures of hands from all over the world: Hands working, hands praying, hands fighting, hands creating. The most affecting photographs are of hands holding hands – little hands holding big hands, white hands holding black hands, masculine hands holding feminine hands.

Hand-holding symbolises our greatest desires fulfilled: love, friendship, companionship, security, agreement, commitment, and reconciliation. It is the sensation of one person’s skin against another’s that is essential to capturing the emotion. It is the words of love and respect made flesh by the physical act of touch.

Want to know what the first Christmas felt like? Turn to your neighbour and offer him or her a handshake of peace. Dry, wrinkled, clammy, sticky, dirty, it doesn’t matter. All that matters is the act of encounter and engagement: human to human, hand to hand, heart to heart. That connection is the grace and truth of Christ.

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