January 31st, 2015

Brother Jesus, your touch healed the woman bent double,
And your hands washed the disciples’ feet;
We give thanks for a mother’s hand wiping away a child’s tears,
For a father’s hand leading his daughter safely across a road,
For a child’s arms around his grandmother’s neck,
For the carer’s hands whose task is intimate and personal,
The hand of a friend steadying us in a crisis.

We give thanks for all whose endeavours reflect
our Mothering God, she who carried us from conception
And has held us since our birth,
Who bears our names engraved on her heart.

Brother Jesus, we pray for those who long to be touched again:
For the empty arms of the mothers of daughters kidnapped in North Nigeria
For the empty arms of the women of Gaza whose sons are in prison
For the widow or widower who sleeps alone in a double bed
For the empty womb of the infertile woman
For the single people still craving a lover
For Ebola sufferers whose carers’ hands are gloved,
and who never feel skin on skin
For the women of Rochdale, Bradford and Oxford, groomed
to accept a touch that corrupts and violates.

Mothering God, rise up with the fierceness of a lioness protecting her cubs
Fend off those who would harm children,
And embrace us all in the loving touch of your son, Jesus Christ.