THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2017
LIFTING HOLY HANDS
1 Timothy 2:1-8
Unity in the body of Christ is crucial for mission. Christians
in the body would want to live in peace, to “lead a
quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity.”
(1 Tm 2:2b). One major reason is to enable the body to effectively
do mission, especially the work of evangelization, which leads
to salvation in Jesus “our savior, who wills everyone
to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth.”
(1 Tm 2:4).
crucial aspect of unity in the body is for its members to
be a praying people. Thus Paul encouraged all sorts of prayers.
“First of all, then, I ask that supplications, prayers,
petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone”
(1 Tm 2:1). Prayer is a basic tool for growing in holiness.
“It is my wish, then, that in every place the men should
pray, lifting up holy hands” (1 Tm 2:8a). But then Paul
adds something else. They should pray “without anger
or argument.” (1 Tm 2:8b). The prayer of the body should
not be marred by internal dissension.
for many Christians today, they hold on to anger and ill-feeling,
even as they participate in worship services. Parishioners
greet others with “peace” though they are not
at peace with others. Community members lift up hands in worship
even as they harbor resentment and ill-will towards brethren.
there will always be difficult relationships, and there will
be hurts in relationships. Our part is not to nurse ill feelings
and hurts, but to offer these up to God for healing. Our prayer
should be: “Hear the sound of my pleading when I cry
to you for help when I lift up my hands toward your holy place.”
(Ps 28:2). Lifting up holy hands to God must not be accompanied
by anger or argument.
that is our part. How about those who do the wrong? We lift
them up to God as well, and trust in God to do what needs
to be done. “Repay them for their deeds, for the evil
that they do. For the work of their hands repay them; give
them what they deserve.” (Ps 28:4). Indeed the Lord
has said that vengeance is His. We pray that we will not be
mired in their sin by our own sinful responses. “Do
not drag me off with the wicked, with those who do wrong,
who speak peace to their neighbors though evil is in their
hearts.” (Ps 28:3).
this means we trust in God, in His justice and mercy. “Blessed
be the Lord, who has heard the sound of my pleading. The Lord
is my strength and my shield, in whom my heart trusts.”
(Ps 28:6-7a). Just like the centurion, we trust in the authority
and power of Jesus to heal (Lk 7:7-8).
more thing. We are to avoid not just anger and argument, but
all other works of the flesh that cause disunity and disrupt
peace in the body. These are envy, dissension, factions, hatred,
rivalry, selfishness, being onion-skinned (tampuhin). Only
then can we truly worship with lifted hands that are holy.