With these hands

This is an offering meditation given by Linda Cozad on Sunday, July 31.

It has been an honor to be a deacon for the church in which I was baptized.

Presentation of the communion and offering plates is a service which I always watched and experienced from the pews, but never totally shared until last year. The solemnity of presentation of the communion to members of the church is always very close to my heart. But what I have noticed when I pass the collection plate is the beauty of the hands which take the plate and always present something for it.

I have noticed the hands of our late Beryl, 102-year-old fingers which so carefully took her pledge envelope from her purse and placed it in the plate, or the hands of the farmer who has worked the land all of his life, preparing the food which we are fortunate to eat.

There are the hands of the teacher who has consoled young students, the knitter who constructs comfort from skeins of yarn, the homemaker who has prepared the food, mended the clothes, packed the lunches, to offer a comfortable home for the family. I have admired the hands of the pianist, the violinist, bell ringers, strong and muscular.

All of the hands which have presented their gifts to their church have toiled and earned their creases, nicks, strength. Their attention to the tasks at hand, their hard work, makes the gifts which they present to other unknown hands very special and I know this church is very grateful for all of the work which enables those hands to present their gifts willingly.

From Thessalonians 4:11: "Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody."