When I lead worship in country churches or small rural towns, I’ve been noticing the hands of the farmers who reach out to receive the body of Christ. Those hands are hard and calloused, used to handling machinery, hay bales, moving livestock etc, Jesus would have grown up in a home with calloused hands, including his own. His first disciples were fisherman used to throwing and pulling nets. And what of those shepherds, who said, “Let’s go see this thing that has happened?”
While attending college and seminary I would return to the farm in the summer. One year I worked for my uncle’s saw mill. Other summers my brother and I worked in the woods cutting poplar trees to be made into excelsior and helped a neighbor with his haying. That developed callouses but first I had to endure blisters. Calloused hands come only after hard labor.
The psalmist declares God’s hardest labor on the cross, “His right hand and holy arm has gotten him the victory.” Jesus hands were victorious on the cross so that hands, both soft and calloused could receive His Body for our life and salvation.