The First Community Nativity Scene

The Nativity—recreated in Christian plays and tableau as a reminder of the birth of Jesus.

But did you know that only the Gospel of Matthew and Luke describe Jesus’s birth?

Wise men are mentioned in Matthew, and shepherds in Luke, but never together!

And no mention of any animals.

It may have been St. Francis of Assisi in 1223 who originated much of our modern-day ideas for a Nativity scene.

It’s said he built a manger and filled it with hay and included two live animals. And villagers were invited to the scene while Francis preached about “the babe of Bethlehem.”

Luke’s gospel says: “. . .the time came for the baby to be born, and she [Mary] gave birth to. . .a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger. . .”

Engage with the Bible—in the Nativity of Jesus!


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