Touch

     As we explore the area of worship we see that all five of our senses are involved, especially the sense of touch. In the Scriptures there is provision in worship where touching becomes an important element of the worship service. For example, in churches today, at the end is the benediction where the minister will raise both of his hands to the air extended outward with the palms down. He then pronounces a blessing to the people. In the first century, small house churches were the norm and the Elder or Pastor would lay hands on each person to bless them before they left the gathering. Today a general laying on of hands is given as the pastor extends his arms over the congregation. Also in the New Testament the "laying on of hands" was applied to individuals who were being anointed for service.

     Touch is seen demonstrated by Jesus as He extended His hands to touch people to whom He was offering healing. Here human touch is something that is extremely important. Human beings need to be touched. Again, Jesus understood the importance of touching those to whom He ministered - the leper, the woman with the show of blood, the hand upon the shoulder of the Pharisee. All of these experiences demonstrated kindness, love, and affection that we all long for as human beings.

     We long for the Master's touch in His name, to people who are afraid, to people who are lonely, to people who are hurting, because God is a God who ministers to us in the whole person, to our minds, our bodies, and to our souls. The touch of Christ's mercy is appropriate in our time together in worship, through the laying on of hands for prayer, anointing for service, and the benediction blessing to those who come to the worship service. May the hands of Christ touch you as an act of God's mercy and love.