The ties between Jesus, the Christmas holiday, and Christianity are irrefutable.
Although there’s no shortage of commercial static and competition, most Christians focus on the true personage of the season, Jesus of Nazareth. One of the ways many Christians express this idea is through the use of nativity scenes. A nativity scene depicts the birth of the baby Jesus. It includes Mary, his mother; Joseph, his earthly father; the barnyard animals; the three wise men; and the shepherd to whom the Angel of the Lord appeared.
Ingredients for a successful nativity scene
- Virgin Mother Mary
- Living scene with live actors
- Barnyard animals
Any nativity scene lacking the active involvement of others will appear static. People, animals, and the reading of the Word are standard trademarks of a living nativity scene. It’s not uncommon for quality churches to take the plunge into the performance of a Christmas play before the nativity scene begins.
Bets are in that St. Francis of Assisi was the first to build a nativity scene. He hoped that a living nativity scene would inspire others to worship Christ. This living nativity scene became so popular that it quickly caught on throughout Christendom. Because such scenes were relatively easy to set up, suddenly they became popular around the globe.
Anyone’s holiday season would be remiss were they not able to view at least one nativity scene. Lawsuits often are filed to keep a nativity scene off of government property, with the most common argument being to seek a separation between church and state.
But, with all the controversy swirling around nativity scenes, they remain a common staple of the Christmas holiday season in the United States and in other Christian communities all around the world.
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