Mark 10:13, 16 - And they were bringing children to Him that He might touch them ... And He took them in His arms and blessed them, laying His hands on them.
The power of touch is a mighty thing. Almost all children instinctively seek it out. Babies cry until someone picks them up. Toddlers climb on their parents and hug their legs when they are nervous. Older children ask for hugs or sneak into their parents' bed if they think they can get away with it. Then they sleep sideways with their head on one parent and their feet in the other one's face! The parents may not get much sleep, but the child loves it. There's just something about the bodily contact of touch that communicates love, peace, and safety.
Maybe this is why the parents were bringing their children to Jesus to be touched. They knew instinctively that it was good for them. They wanted Jesus to bless them in His peace, love, and security. We want Him to do this for us as well!
Jesus knew about touch from His own experience. As the incarnate Son of God, He spent nine months in Mary's womb, always touching and always touched. He was held and played with as a baby. No doubt He ran to His parents for hugs when He was a toddler. He knew the power of touch to communicate love. And as a grown man in the midst of His public ministry, He used that power of touch to bless the children.
Today it's a bit harder on us, because the Lord Jesus has ascended to heaven, and we can't physically see Him or touch Him the way the first disciples did. But our need for His love, His blessing, His "touch" remains as strong as ever.
Maybe this is why the Lord gave us Baptism and Holy Communion. He knows how we are made and what the senses mean to us. Hearing the Word of God is great, and so is reading it with our eyes. Still we need, we want more. We want Jesus to touch us. And so, He gives us Himself in the Lord's Supper. He gives us new life in the water of Baptism. He connects us to His death on the cross for our sake, and to His resurrection. And we are forgiven, we are healed, we are comforted and blessed. God's touch on our lives gives us help and strength.
But Jesus does even more than that. He gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit to live, not just touching us, but within us, filling our hearts and minds, connecting us to our Savior. That connection is always there; we are never alone, even if we sometimes feel that way. We are always in touch with Him. Thanks be to God.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, thank You for connecting me to You. Help me to trust in You, even when I can't feel Your touch. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.