Many years ago, my Mom made a beautiful ceramic nativity scene. Each piece was lovingly painted, glazed and then fired. It took her weeks to make and when she was done, we had this truly special Nativity. Over the years, we were rough and, sadly, it did not survive seven children, but I have wanted a similar Nativity. I’ve yet to find one as beautiful as she made, but I eventually found one I liked at a Dollar Store about 15 years ago.
Every year when we would get out the Christmas stuff, Kiddo always seemed fascinated by this Nativity. Once he got old enough, it was his job to set this up for me every year. Usually, I accept whatever he does and call it good. I have other Christmas fish to fry. However, this year, I took a good look at the set.
What the…? How have I failed to notice the Brady Bunch repair job on my Nativity, apparently done with wood glue. WOOD GLUE, People! While it is clearly strong enough to hold porcelain together, it is still not the appropriate glue for the job. See how it cures?
Apparently, rough-housing near the Nativity is a family tradition. I suspect one of the kids got too rough around the Nativity and Wood Glue was the only glue to be found at the time. I clearly was not called in to consult on this repair job. I do not even remember this event. I looked a little closer at the set. Not only were my wise men in need of love, but baby Jesus has suffered over the years.
Baby Jesus needs a bath. Still, cleaning is only going to go so far. While the gold is very bright and garish in these photos, in real life, it was dingy and dull. Not pretty at all.
I cleaned the set and got to work. Out came the handy-dandy Spackle and I filled in the cracks on the set. Every time I fix something with Spackle (wall fix/putty/joint compound) I am amazed by it’s capabilities. When done right, Spackle covers the problem, cracks, mistakes, boo boos and makes them all better. Once the paint is applied, you’d never know it had been repaired.
After I filled the cracks and sanded down the Spackle, I spray painted my set with Heirloom White. Let me tell you, it’s no joke trying to spray paint in a garage when it’s 6 degrees outside. It involved keeping the paint inside between layers, bringing the pieces in the house to dry and a lot of patience. When I finally got it painted, I busted out the Valspar Metal & Patina glaze in Bronze and glazed the set.
I woke up this morning, Christmas Eve, reflecting on the analogy here.
Just as I was able to take something that had some flaws and repair it to make it beautiful and new again, Christ can do the same for us.
The Atonement is the Spackle. It fills in the cracks and mistakes of our lives. It smooths our rough spots and makes us beautiful again. We all need the Atonement.
We can be healed. His atoning sacrifice provides a way for us to be made whole.
It is only by Him and through Him that was can be saved.
I love the story of the wise men. They traveled a long way to find Christ, with only a star to guide them. Their journey could not have been easy. They came bearing gifts of the most precious things they could attain. Our journey to Christ may also be hard. We may lose sight of the things we have to guide us to Him. We do not have to give Him our possessions. He asks for something else. He asks us to come to Him with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. This means we come to him humble and willing to follow Him. He asks us to obey Him. To have faith in Him. To repent and keep trying.
I’m so glad I was able to save my Nativity. It brings me joy. It’s a family tradition and one that will go on now with new life. More importantly, though, I am so grateful for the birth of our Savior.
He gives me life and joy.
May you find His joy and love in your life is my Christmas Wish for you.
Nativity – Free
Wall Fix, Spray Paint, Glaze – Free
Total Project Cost – Free
Total Project Time – about 3 hours total
Be sure to check out the party links on my side bar.