570 nativity scenes need good home

It’s difficult to imagine how anyone, irrespective of his or her religious beliefs, would not be moved by the evocative scene of Christ’s birth in a manger. But apparently a lot of people have made it their mission to do everything they can to banish these beautiful scenes lest someone be offended. Because, you know, the 21st century has become the century of petty offense and faux outrage.

So I thought I’d write a little bit about nativity scenes (if that’s still allowed in America).

The first nativity scene was created by St. Francis of Assisi in 1223. This re-creation of the scene of Christ’s birth expanded the traditional way of communicating the story which, up to that point, was told in church, often in Latin – a language few could understand. The crèche was set up in a cave and filled with people playing various roles, along with a wax figure to represent baby Jesus. And it was a huge hit!

The idea took off as others began to set up living nativity scenes at Christmas time. Within one hundred years every church in Italy was expected to have one as the tradition grew. Soon Christians the world over started to visit nativity scenes, sometimes praying at them, as the number of figures portrayed expanded to include a variety of animals, the three kings, and angels.

Living scenes evolved into static scenes which became prevalent in primarily Catholic countries. Eventually this tradition spread throughout all of Europe, and then, around the world.

Until the West’s marinade in madness reached a critical mass and leftists started to ban public displays of them.

But I don’t want to descend into politics today. Instead, I’d like to share a nativity scene story that involves a priest with a collection of 570 nativity sets that need a home.

Father Roy Herberger, of Columbia-Brigid Church in Buffalo, has amassed a large collection of nativity sets from over the world. He’s been collecting them for 30 years from 59 countries for a grand total of 570 sets. ABC News reports that after attending a religious convention about 30 years ago, Herberger started to wonder how artists in other countries depicted the nativity scene and how Jesus, Mary, and Joseph would be portrayed. So he started buying sets online from a source that sold goods from developing countries. He also acquired sets from individuals who traveled abroad, including a family from Poland that brought back a set that was hand-carved out from a birch tree while another individual traveling to Mexico brought back a colorful crèche made out of corn husks.

Herberger’s entire collection is carefully unpacked (with a few accidents here and there) and displayed every year at his church. However this year will be the last because he is about to retire. He is now looking for a permanent home for his collection.

Any takers?

Merry Christmas one and all!

Thanks to AT commentator willmay for link to page with photographs from the collection!