Shortly after I arrived in Israel, I made arrangements to meet Mr. Lama in his home. We took a taxi from our campus to Bethlehem. He graciously welcomed me and my friends into his home, and with sweet hospitality offered us something to drink. He showed us the amazing olive wood carvings he made. Each one was made to order, and by hand. I chose these two figures, rather than a larger commercially produced olive wood nativity that was common in the Old City.
The detail in Mr. Lama's carvings still amaze me. The delicate features of each person, the loving way that Joseph's arm fits around Mary, the folds and ropes of the clothing he included show that these figures meant as much to Mr. Lama as they do to me.
I love the way I feel when I remember what each figure represents. A carpenter, with strong hands, who would be strong enough to father God's son.
A sweet and humble young woman who was chosen to be the mother of Jesus Christ.
The Creator, born on earth so that He could have complete compassion for and understand every part of human existence.
“For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”
On this Christmas Day, I hope that you take a moment to remember what He has done...and will continue to do for each of us. I am forever grateful for Jesus Christ.
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