A corker of a nativity
Three weeks ago, I sat on the steps at the front of Newbury Baptist Church surrounded by children, telling them a traditional Christmas tale from Mexico. In it, a poor girl is wracked with anguish because she cannot afford a gift to take and lay at the manger in church on the night of Christmas Eve. A kindly Uncle reassures her that any gift, if given with love, will be made spectacular in the giving. In desperation, she stops on the way to church to pluck a posy of weeds growing at the kerb. As she hands them over at the manger, they turn into the glorious red and green of the poinsettia – transformed with love. I had no idea at the time that the tale would be re-enacted in my own experience.
In the intervening three weeks, life has been very challenging. Also, during those three weeks I have talked in church and elsewhere about my collection of nativity sets from around the world. Yesterday, I acquired another one. It turns out that three of those children who had been sitting on the steps had spent all day on December 22nd making it for me.
As you can see, the whole thing is constructed from discarded corks, even the star hanging overhead:
There are cork shepherds, cork sheep and a Fresian cow
A cork Mary and Joseph look proudly on:
A cork angel stands as sentinel:
And, of course there is a (half) cork baby Jesus:
This is, without a doubt, the most precious nativity set I own – made with love.