It’s the start of the big match. Two boxers touch gloves and immediately assume a defensive posture, their fists up in front of their faces. They are watching for any sign of vulnerability in the person in front of them, which will give them an opportunity to lash out at their opponent.
Contrast this with a parent greeting their child after school or two good friends meeting after a long time apart. They move towards each other, with arms outstretched, totally open one another.
Do we approach other people like defensive boxers, or like joyous parents greeting their children or reunited friends, with arms outstretched? Every hug starts with open arms.
At immeasurable cost, on the cross, Jesus stretched his arms out to us all. Now He welcomes us as His Father’s children and in deep friendship when we run towards Him. His outstretched arms are a measure of His love.
(With acknowledgements to “Heaven in Ordinary” by Angela Ashwin)