So we did. I pushed out that lump of clay and made a Manger, and then with some broken pieces of dried clay from last year, Abby and I began to carve out our scene. There is Mary kneeling, baby Jesus bundled, Joseph standing, the sheep curled up asleep, the little drummer boy and even an Angel keeping watch.
It won't last forever as there is no kiln. It's more like dry mud than anything, baked in the Sun, so it crumbles easily. It's passing away just like the rest of us in this old world.
But there's one thing it certainly is.... it's pretty. It adorns our table as the centerpiece.
If God gives us another year, I'll make another, and I'll form the Manger to be the cupped hands of God, because at least that much is lasting. He is always shaping and making us into something holy, something beautiful, and we are, always, in His hands.
'Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?" declares the LORD. "These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word.' (Isaiah 66)