Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Nativity Scenes


St.Francis of Assisi is credited with staging the first nativity scene on Christmas Eve in 1223. He was concerned that the meaning of Christmas was being lost. He obtained permission from Pope Honorious III to set up a manager with two live animals in a cave in the Italian village of Grecio. He then invited the villagers to come and gaze upon the scene while he preached about the babe of Bethlehem. 

Within a couple of centuries nativity scenes spread throughout Europe. Later scenes incorporated live dioramas and actors.

Many American Christians set up a small nativity scene in their homes. It is often under their Christmas trees. There might also be a larger one set up outside in their yard. The scene will depict the first Christmas where the Baby Jesus is in his first bed, called a manger. The scene also includes his mother, Mary and her husband Joseph. 

The scene may also include shepherds, wisemen as well as some livestock animals. Although they are familiar characters, we know it is not biblically accurate. Of the four gospels only Matthew and Luke describe Jesus' birth. Matthew mentions wise men and Luke comments on shepherds. But they are not mentioned together. The Gospel of Matthew suggests the Magi followed the Star to Jesus' home a year or more after his birth. 

While the Christmas season has become very commercialized, the nativity scene represents the birth of Christ and draws us back to the real focus on the holiday -- the humble and simple surroundings of Jesus.  His life and message of God's forgiveness. He made this possible through His death and becomes available to all through simple faith in Him. His coming to earth is among the most significant events in history. Even our calendar dating system is based on the fact of His being here. Christmas honors the birth and coming of the most remarkable Person.

ref - Smithsonian magazine

American Holidays - Bill Perry


Carol Swift said...

I haven't done much Christmas decorating over the last few years, but this year I got out all the treasured decorations like my nativity sets. I love having them out as a reminder of what's really important about Christmas.

Rosemary B❤️ said...

This year I did not take out many decorations because all of my grand babies are too small for clutter in their path.
I did put my nativity scene up though. I love that they ask about the story.
Merry Christmas to you and your family


Very lovely Nativity scene. It is what Xmas is all about. I used to make a big Bethlehem when my daughters were small and later my teen grandgirls; but now I reduced it to just the manger under glass.
Merry Christmas and many blessings my friend.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

I have quite a few Nativity's all over the house. Most I leave out all year round. I also have one in the yard (just for Christmas).