Hugs at St Johns Fl Presbyterian ChurchThere is an old Family Circus comic when the little girl explains to her even younger brother, “They invented hugs to let people know you love them without saying anything.”

Words are important too, aren’t they? However, there is something powerful about human touch. When we read the healing stories in the gospels, we find that Jesus almost always touches the very people he seeks to heal – even those who would have been contagious or ritually unclean. Touch seems to play a prominent role in the healing process.

In fact, scientific studies have shown that people need empathetic contact not only to recover from illness and injury, but also, in the case of the elderly and very young, it is essential to life.

Today, I pray that you would make an effort to find a hand that needs holding, a back that needs patting, or a person who could use a hug. Remind them that they are important and that they are loved without even saying a word.

Let us pray: God of Grace, when you stepped into this world in the person of Jesus you confirmed the goodness of your physical creation. You reminded us that we are not only spirit but flesh and blood. Grant us the grace we need to take care of ourselves and others – body, mind and soul. Grant us the wisdom and the courage to reach out, to touch and to show love to those who need it most. In giving may we also receive. We ask in the name of the Word made Flesh. Amen.