Jesus’ hands were kind hands

Jan 2020    

We enter a new year, and a world that is getting more challenging to live in. Climate change is causing more extreme weather; the rapid development of technology is affecting our lifestyles; racism is becoming more pronounced; and social pressures are increasing.

Will having a set of kind hands serve as a good response?

Perhaps we can find the answer through the hymn, “Jesus’ Hands Were Kind Hands”, found under the Life and Teaching section of the United Methodist Hymnal (UMH). Written in 1926, it was originally included in the children’s hymnal. It was set to the tune of an old French melody, “AU CLAIR DE LA LUNE”, which is simple; the lyrics, however, may be have meaning more complex than they appear.

While originally a hymn for children, we know that Jesus wants us adults to have kind hands too. The theme of this hymn—kindness—points us to the gospels, where we hear Jesus teaching the people to do good always.

The hymn begins with Jesus’ “kind hands” as a metaphor for His ministry. Jesus healed the sick, embraced the children and encouraged the weak, teaching us to be good to all.

Then comes a prayer in the second stanza asking Jesus to mould us in his likeness—a prayer for our hands to be kind and strong yet gentle; for our eyes to see and know how He was as a human being. “Let me watch you, Jesus” is a call to do that which we ought to be doing more earnestly. It is in knowing him more and more through our prayers, Bible study and participation in worship that our hands may be moulded to be “kind hands”.

May we have humble hearts to know and willing hands to serve Jesus as we go through another year with Him in our lives.

Jesus’ Hands Were Kind Hands (UMH 273)

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.

Words: Margaret Cropper, 1975
Music: AU CLAIR DE LA LUNE, Old French melody; harm. by Carlton Young, 1988

Judith Laoyan-Mosomos is the Director for Worship and Church Music at the Methodist School of Music, and a member of Kampong Kapor Methodist Church.

Picture by shutterstock.com


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