Posted tagged ‘carpenter’

When the Carpenter Came

December 4, 2010

As I was praying after Communion tonight,
the song “When the Carpenter Came”, by Gordon Jensen came to mind…
except it’s been decades since I heard it.
I could only remember a few phrases & the briefest snatch of melody.

I usually think of Jesus coming into the “house” of my soul as a Guest.
Tonight He came with His work clothes on & His tool belt around His waist.

Fisher of Men

November 13, 2003

Jesus, who’d spent His whole working life as a carpenter, left His carpentry shop to go “fishing”–to be the first “fisher of men.”

I can just see the sign He put up on the shop door before He left: “Out of Business (gone fishin’).”

Well, if you’re going to go fishing, where do you go? You go where the fish are, of course–down to the water. And so He did. He went down to the Jordan river. Then He went into the water–with the fish, where He was Baptized. Sounds a bit like the Incarnation…

(What follows is pure whimsy, very loosely based on Matthew 1:18-25, 3:13-4:1, 4:19, Mark 3:21, 6:3, Luke 1:28, 3:23, John 2:1-11, 4:4-42)

A sign hangs on the carpenter’s shop: “Out of Business–gone fishin’.” And the tongues are wagging.

Fishing?! Whatever can that rash upstart be thinking?! Why, He’s barely thirty years old. He’s just begun! He can’t retire yet!”

“Oh, well you know what they say about Him. Illegitimate son of the prettiest girl in town. What can you expect?”

“Well, yeah, but where am I supposed to get my cart wheels fixed now? I don’t want to go all the way to Barsimeon’s in Cana. Besides, how’d I get there with a broken cart wheel?!”

“I know, I’ve got the same problem. Say, did you hear where Jesus actually went? Down to the Jordan.”

“Well, if you’re going fishing, I s’pose that’d be as good a place as any–not that He knows anything about fishing!”

“No, it gets better. He got that desert man John to baptize Him.”

“Oh He did, did He? Well good for Him. Maybe it’ll keep Him out of trouble for a while. That baptism thing’s supposed to be all about repentance, right? Maybe He will “repent” of closing the shop & come back to take care of things again!”

“I don’t think so. Last anyone saw Him, He was headed out for the desert Himself.”

“Oh really! Funny place to go if you want to catch fish!” (laughter)

“Yeah, it’s just Mary left behind to take care of things. Husband dead, son run off on some crazy nonsense. I guess it serves her right for that little fling she had as a girl. I never did really understand that, though. Every time I’ve ever seen her, she’s seemed like the purest creature to ever walk the earth.”

“Not to mention the most beautiful. Wow! Well, you know, maybe there wasn’t much she could do about it. After all, that kind of beauty can drive a man to desperate measures.”

“I know, but that’s what she had a father for, and a fiancé. They’re supposed to make sure she’s safe.”

“Hey, have you ever tried to keep an eye on everything that happens around a girl? No! You only have sons. Cut the guys some slack. It’s not as easy as you think.”

“Oh no! I’m so sorry! I forgot!”

“Yeah, well, Dinah never will.”

“No, I suppose she won’t. Ran off to live with the Samaritans, didn’t she?”

“Outcast among the outcasts, that’s what she said. What gets me is that the guy who did it to her didn’t suffer at all. ‘Fine, upstanding citizen,’ he is. Bah. A curse upon him! But that won’t give me my little girl back. My sweet, innocent, devout daughter. What is she now? Practically a prostitute, married 5 times & now living with a guy–and a Samaritan at that. You don’t get much lower. It just breaks my heart the way she’s turned away from God.”

“It’s tragic all right. You just keep praying for her & taking those sin offerings to the temple. Sooner or later, God’s got to take notice and bring her back. Who knows, maybe this crazy Jesus will be the one God uses. They say it takes one to know one!”

“Yeah, well, I’m not holding my breath. Hey I gotta run. If I’m not home in time for lunch I’m gonna hear about it–relatives are coming over, you know.”

“Oh, I know all about that. We’ve been working on wedding plans for months now & it’s still a couple months away. Gonna be a daughter-in-law in my house pretty soon. I sure hope that doesn’t create any more catfights than we’ve already got! I guess I’d better get going too. I’m in charge of getting the wine & I haven’t gotten to the market yet. See you later!”

And in another part of the town square:
“Well, will you look at that! ‘Out of Business’? Whatever can have happened?!”

“You got me. Midlife crisis, maybe? Seems a little young for that…well, all I can say is that it’s a crying shame when the best carpenter in the country gets it in His head to go off & become a fisherman. Why, carpentry’s a respected trade! Why’d He want to go be a smelly old fisherman?!”

“You’d think His mother’d try talk Him out of it. After all, He’s all she’s got left!”

“Oh, you know Mary. Why I declare, sometimes I think she worships that boy of hers! Only son, and all. He gets whatever He wants! I just don’t see how He came out so unspoiled. A little too direct for my taste, sometimes, but not the whiny, helpless type you usually see when nobody ever says no.”

“’Course, you’ve got to give Mary credit. Every idea of His she’s gone along with has been a goldmine. She just knows a good thing when she sees it. Can you blame her for that?”

“Well, no, but this time that Jesus has really gone off his rocker. She really should’ve done something about it.”

“Maybe we can get some of the relatives together to talk some sense into her and go after Him–it’s worth a try. Besides, my spinning wheel isn’t running so smoothly lately. He needs to get back here & take care of it!”

“Mine too. Well, let me know if you hear anything. I’d better get supper started before the devourers return.”

“I know what you mean. Me too! Bye!”

Oh, He’s coming back, alright. But the things He wants to fix now are a lot more important than carts & spinning wheels!


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