We forgot to move the star along it’s trail on our Advent calendar yesterday and thus the writing was dropped as well. We managed to get to a holiday party at the Ferry Terminal in town and stayed long enough to watch the boat parade. Louisa was disappointed because she wanted to be on a boat. High expectations to be sure. Looking back on Day 8, I think to the time that I spent in the garage last night. I was working with wood for some Christmas presents. I was carving out the ugly dead wood down to the beautiful grain. It made me think of all of the analogies that can come from such work. All the obvious connections to our life in Christ.
Sitting, neck and arms aching from slashing the carving tool back and forth, I though about the irony of Jesus’ future in carpentry. It is a humble task and one he learned from his father. It is an aching task. I spent two hours ridding wood of its defects and I decided to throw in the towel. Jesus learned all about cleaning wood of the chaff, all while balling up humanity and scorching it into gold. What a role wood had to play in Christ’s life. Not only a host of examples, but also in the manger, the cross, his occupation… Just as my mother talks about her faith being strengthened and encouraged with every weed pulled or seed planted, it seems as easy to say the same about working with wood.