One of my favorite hymns is an oldie entitled, “The Sands Have Been Washed.” The words came from a schoolteacher named Harriet Cole Nickerson who became too ill to teach, but produced a book of poems in the mid-1800s. Charles Tilman found this one and set the words to music in 1895. The melody speaks to my heart, and the words speak for my heart. My imagination runs with the first line of the song, “The sands have been washed in the footprints of the Stranger on Galilee’s shore…” I am over and over struck with the thought that our Lord once lived here on our planet. But He didn’t come simply as a visitor, He came as one of us. He was one of the children who played on the dusty streets of Nazareth. He was a regular in the synagogue on the Sabbath. And His interest in the Old Testament scrolls would have been noticed with gladness and pride by the older worshipers there. They watched Him grow in wisdom as well as in body and in favor with Jehovah and with them also. No doubt some of them had to visit the carpenter’s shop where Jesus learned those skills from His father. They perhaps had to have something made or something repaired. The young carpenter did that kind of thing. But even though they knew Him, they were unprepared for the kind of graceful words He spoke to them. They knew Him, but they didn’t really know Him. There was an unknown quantity in Him that surprised and even angered them (Luke 4:22-30). John tells us, He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him (John 1:11). Still Jesus was no stranger to Galilee. He made Galilee and the rest of the world as well (do see Colossians 1:15-20). The sands of the seashore were washed in His footprints. He came to us…as us…for us. The wonder of it all amazes me yet. He is Immanuel!
Dear Lord, Help us not only to know of You, but to know You. Please, may we live in loving relationship with You…in a daily, real, growing way as befits any good relationship. And, please, may knowing You, have all the affects upon us that You desire. We claim no virtue of our own. But we have discovered that experiencing You, always leaves us desiring more of You. And, one more thing, Lord, would You please allow us to feel Your pleasure in us now and again, for we find that helps us so much to avoid ultimate weariness in going about doing good as You did when the sands of Galilee were washed by Your feet. Amen.