Lesson from a Carpenter

Carving a new life

The Last Supper. Judas doesn’t look happy, as he looks at Jesus.

The Backstory

When the Christmas season rolls around and stores promote products like they’re going out of business, it’s great when you find something that wasn’t made by a machine.

I enjoy going outside of the commercial product path and exploring items that are handmade and support local folks. It’s unfortunate that many flea market dealers are professionals at importing cheap stuff from China, but occasionally, there’s a gem in the rough. During my exploration through a flea market, I came across this junk dealer.

The space was jam-packed full of old books, pictures, and random antiques… a bunch of neat stuff. I scanned the items like I was working in an episode of American Pickers, when I stumbled upon the handy-work of a patient, skilled carpenter.

The Object

Our Lord and Savior. One carpenter depicts another.

A hand-carved depiction of the last supper. It not only caught my eye because of the chosen scene, but the effort and artistry that was put into the piece is visible in every cut and shave.

The level of detail portrayed in each character is pretty remarkable, even though some of them look a little weird.

It’s that weirdness quality that makes the work extraordinary.

It isn’t known how old this is, but it would be neat to know who the carpenter, whittler, or artist is who carved and put together each of these pieces.

What would it have been like around this table?

One could admire the work done on this hand-carved Last Supper for a while and wonder what life would be like if the story portrayed here never happened. We should all be grateful for the storied life of Christ.

The Lesson

In this Christmas season, it’s important to be reminded of Jesus’ story and why we celebrate the day of His birth. How His being in our lives shapes us to be better people, appreciate what we have, and give to those who need help.

Just like the carpenter saw each of these disciples in a plain block of wood, so Jesus sees disciples in each of us. If we let Him shape us and carve away our sins, then we too can be saved.

The Take-aways

  • There is perfect within imperfect.
  • A carpenter sees and creates what we need to survive.
  • Be there for those that need you.
  • Celebrate the birth of Jesus and let Him shape you.

Let us not forget the reason why we celebrate Christmas. Some people think I’m silly when I make a birthday cake on Jesus’ birthday… but isn’t that what Christmas is? And, isn’t that what we do when people have birthdays?

I think it’s the most appropriate and perfect occasion for a birthday celebration. Happy Birthday, Jesus… and many more birthdays to You.

Written by Shaun Holloway.