COLUMN: God offers a loving touch

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By Steve Gettinger

A reading from 1 John 1:1-4:
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the father and with his son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.”
There’s something about good touch that says, “I love you . . . I care about you . . .You are special.” Good touch can communicate closeness, assurance, comfort, and value. Parents, please take time to lovingly touch your children.
Loving touch is not just for children, but adults as well. Most adults like to have a hug, a pat on the back, or an arm put around them. To you, married couples out there don’t forget to take the time to hold a hand, give a hug, or touch your spouse in a way that lets them know that you love them and value them.
When God created the universe, he spoke it into existence, which showed his all-powerful nature. When he said, “Let there be light” there was light.
But when God created man he did not speak. . . he touched, which showed his personal nature of love and care for mankind. When God made Adam, he fashioned him out of the dust of the earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living being (Gen 2:7) When God made woman, he touched Adam and took out a rib, then he fashioned Eve from it.
God touched Adam and Eve when he created them and has been reaching out to touch mankind ever since. God reached out to touch mankind, when Jesus, God the son, was born of the virgin Mary after being conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit. The son of God came to earth and took on human flesh and blood, so that he could be with us, touch us and save us.
The Bible teaches us that Jesus left heaven and became the God-man.
He lived among his creation on this earth for about 33 years, so that people might know him. People saw Jesus. People touched Jesus. People heard Jesus. It was God’s way of reaching out and touching mankind and his way of allowing mankind to touch him.
When Jesus lived on this earth he touched and blessed children (Lk 18:16)
He touched many people and healed them (John 9), he was touched by the sinful woman who fell at his feet and washed his feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. He touched his disciples when he washed their feet. (Jn 13:1-11)
We have a God who became flesh and dwelt among us so that he could get his hands on us and so we could get our hands on him.
Let me ask you a question: Can you imagine a person going through life without being loving touched or touched very little? Imagine a child left alone for hours to fend for themselves because the parents are too busy.
A child who isn’t held or touched because they were not wanted. A marriage gone bad with no touching, no hugging, or no kissing. People who spend endless hours on cell phones or computers or televisions, and do not take the time to touch each other. How sad.
You know what causes people to do such things to children and to each other? Sin. Sin is like a spiritual leprosy and separates us from each other and from the God who loves us. If the leprosy of sin is not cured before we die, it leads to the most horrible loss of touch. It leads to God no longer touching us and us no longer being able to touch God. Our sin, if it is not dealt with and forgiven, leads to an eternity in hell. Many people dread the thought of hell, because of the endless fire, but I do not think that the fire is the worst part about hell. I think total separation from God for eternity would be worse. Think about being totally separated from your creator with no touch, no love, no peace, no forgiveness and no joy.
What a frightening eternity it would be banished from the presence of God. It does not have to end that way for people, because God has made a way where there seemed to be no way.
Jesus came down from heaven to this earth to make a way for us to be cured of our spiritual leprosy of sin. Jesus did this when he allowed himself to be touched and betrayed by Judas kiss, to be touched by the Roman soldiers who beat him without mercy, to be touched with spikes, nailed through his hands and feet on the cross, to be touched with the wrath of God for the sins of mankind. Why did Jesus allow himself to be touched in such cruel and horrible ways? He allowed it,so that he could cure us from the leprosy of our sin. He allowed it so that he could forgive the sins of every repentant sinner and make them touchable again.
He allowed it so that we could become the children of God and receive all the wonderful gifts he has for us. Gifts like forgiveness, peace, and eternal life in heaven.