Archive for Manger
Though most folks don’t consider me a sentimental person, there is one picture book that makes me cry every time I read it–The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski. It’s a story of death, and loss, and transformation. When a bitter woodcarver agrees to make a replacement nativity for a widow and her young son, he finds that he must deal with the innocent persistence of childhood. As readers, we find ourselves caught between real sorrow and real hope: death and separation, life and relationship. What is the truth of this world?
It’s a terrific book with beautiful, sensitive illustrations by P. J. Lynch. I hear it’s been made into both a play and a movie, but I find I don’t even want to see the adaptations. It’s complete as it is. If you were here, we could read it together and think about all the wonderful nativities we’ve shared this season. We could talk about why these figures become so precious to us, and why we bring them out, year after year. And then, maybe we could talk about the mysteries of Christmas and the incarnation, and how we get a little closer to understanding the reality of hope and joy in this life every time we set up the manger.
It’s Christmas Eve. There’s a baby on the way! Are you ready?
In these last few hours of Advent, I thought I would share a few final pictures. I received a number of pictures of Latin American manger scenes from friends and family. Here are the ones I haven’t already posted.
I was so excited when a friend sent me this photo of her vintage 1960s Empire Nativity. These blow mold figures–hollow molded plastic–were very popular back in the days when most every house put up Christmas lights and no one worried about energy consumption. Then, and now, it said something when you put a manger scene in your yard. Something a little gentler, but no less definite, than today’s “Jesus is the reason for the season.”
Handcarved wooden Nativity from South Carolina.
Stable or church? Not many manger scenes include a cross.
North American Plains Nativity
This reminds me the “Huron Carol” which is sung here in Wendat (Huron) by Heather Dale.
You might also enjoy this performance of “Silent Night” by C. Littleleaf on Native American flute.
In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,In the bleak midwinter, long ago.
A long time ago, a little boy named Brad drew these figures.
A coat of varnish and a lot of love have kept the colors bright.