One of the increasing problems in our society during our recent Christmas season was the stealing of figures used in nativity scenes. Churches, reluctant to say that people were stealing the nativity scene figures, said that they were “borrowed.” Unfortunately they haven’t been returned.
Rev. George Smith is the minister at the St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. They have a 40-year-old nativity scene that has become something of a landmark in that community. About ten years ago two of the church’s wise men were stolen and later found on a ski slope. That is when a parishioner learned about a free offer for GPS devices for nativity scene characters.
BrickHouse Security in New York City offered churches and synagogues free GPS and cameras to protect their displays during the Christmas season. Seventy people signed up for it.
Evidently this idea of installing a GPS has worked in the past. Wellington, Florida, had a nativity scene display and some of the characters were stolen. Last year workers opened the back of a new Baby Jesus, rigged up a GPS device, sealed it inside, painted it over and dressed the figure. When it was stolen a third time, the police used the GPS signal to track it down in 12 hours at the home of a teenager. An 18-year-old girl was charged.
While I am appalled that people would steal the Baby Jesus from an nativity scene, I am glad that the real Jesus; who was born at Christmas, cannot be stolen or taken away by another person. Jesus is in no danger of being stolen or lost. He is actually intentional in the opposite direction to be sure that we are found. He came into the world in order to seek and to save all of us who are lost.
Jesus has a power that is far greater than a global positioning system satellite to help us track where He is and where He is leading. He has also offered us His GPS system—the Bible—and it never goes out of range or out of style.
Jesus also offers a security system that nothing can touch—thieves, moths, rust, economic recession, terrorism or illness. The great thing about His security system is that it is forever and ever and ever!
Christmas is Emmanuel—God with us—everyday! He cannot be lost or stolen. He desires to be obeyed and followed!