By Dasha Morgan- A selection of Christmas Nativity sets from around the world will be on exhibit from December 12 – 19 at the First Baptist Church, 5 Oak Street in Asheville. This is the 4th annual “O Come Let Us Adore Him: Christmas Creches from Around the World” with over 250 Nativity scenes from more than 60 countries on display.
For example, there are exhibits from Ecuador, Italy, Mexico, Holland, the United States, Cuba,Vietnam and the Philippines More than 1150 people attended the exhibit last year. Guest comments included, “awesome,” “wonderful,” “lovely,” “words cannot express the beauty,” and “impressive and beautifully done.”
The public is invited and welcome to this free event. The exhibit will be open to the public during the following times:
Wednesday, December 12th – Wednesday, December 19th:
Weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 pm
Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 noon -6:00 pm
School groups, retirement communities, or special press visits can be arranged by calling 916-223-3285.
Children can be active participants with a “Seek and Find” activity. They are giving a clipboard with pen and a list of specific items to look for in the displays—no touching, of course— such as an elephant, a coconut shell, Baby Jesus on Mary’s hip, a snail, or Baby Jesus laying on his belly.
In addition in a large beautiful stable which was recently installed, parents and their children can dress in nativity outfits for a photo opportunity to share with family and friends.
Special guest lectures by the Rev. Dr. Jerry Beavers on “Creche: The Nativity Scene as Art” and “The Nativity Scene in Worship and Devotion.” The Rev. Dr. Jerry Beavers will be giving two walking tour-lectures in the exhibit on December 17 & 18, starting at 6:00 pm.
Whether called the French crèche, the Italian presipio, the German krippe, the Spanish nacimiento,or the English crib, the depiction of the Nativity scene is one of the oldest and most beloved Christmas traditions. A crèche is a three-dimensional artistic representation of the birth of Jesus.
While focusing on the central figures of the mother Mary and Christ Child, crèche artists often telescope time and place to bring together a host of earthly and heavenly participants – shepherds, animals, angels, wise men, and commoners.
Saint Francis of Assisi is credited with popularizing the crèche tradition. In 1223, he was traveling to the Italian village of Greccio, when the sight of the shepherds in moonlit fields evoked images of the first Christmas. Inspired by the midnight scene, he beckoned the villagers to light the sky with their torches, bring their animals and re-enact the First Christmas.
Participating churches include The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, First Baptist Church of Asheville, First Congregational United Church of Christ, First Presbyterian Church – Asheville, St. Eugene Catholic Church, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, and Saints Joseph and Andrew Eastern Orthodox Mission Church.
Local Christian churches that would like to participate in or support the event are encouraged to join. Please visit www.ashevillenativity.org, for more information, or contact Steve Hargadon at 916-283-7901.