This is a terrific poem reflecting on the way our hands have been used this year, and the different hands present in the Christmas story. It culminates in Jesus inviting us to place our hand in his. It combines honesty, reflection and hope in a beautiful way, with quiet music and a wide variety of earthy, everyday images.

You can download this and use it in your services (both physical and online) this Christmas. Alternatively, you could read the poem for yourself, or use that in another creative way. We're so grateful to Alistair and Catherine Stevenson and St Gabriels, Sheffield for making this available.

 


Look at your hands. Who are they for?

Have they had a year like this one before?

 

Have they washed and scrubbed and sanitised?

Got dry and sore, and moisturised?

 

Have they done less work, been at home more?

Or have they worked harder than ever before?

 

Have they helped a neighbour, a parent or friend?

Have they longed for all these restrictions to end?

 

Have they missed friends; felt too far apart?

Have they lost a loved one and clutched at your heart?

 

This Christmas is different; it can’t be the same.

The world all around us has obviously changed.

 

But the meaning of Christmas - the heart of it all,

Began in a baby so precious and small.

 

With no glitz or sparkle, no parties or feasts,

He came for the broken, the lonely, the least.

 

The hands of his earth-dad were dusty and worn,

Hardened by woodwork, but chosen for more.

 

The hands of his mother were softer, but weary

Holding her baby, eyes happy but teary.

 

The hands of the shepherds, who visited first,

Were rough and strong and ingrained with dirt.

 

The hands of the angels were lifted in praise,

To the One we call Saviour, the ancient of days.

 

To the babe who’s smooth hands, so weak and so small,

Would one day carry the wrongs of us all.

 

So that every person on earth may know,

How much they are loved, by how far He would go.

 

To rescue, redeem, forgive and restore,

To give us the life we were born for.

 

A life of meaning, of joy, peace and love,

As we walk hand in hand with our Father above.

  

So whether your heart is heavy or light,

With hands held open or screwed up tight

 

Whether they’re full or empty or tired,

Work-worn or restless or uninspired,

 

Just know that you don’t have to be alone,

To carry your burdens and trials on your own

 

Jesus came to walk by your side,

To fill you with hope, to be your guide

 

Look at your hands, who are they for?

If they take hold of Jesus, they’ll need nothing more.

 

Written by Catherine Stevenson, Dec 2020