When Baby Jesus disappeared … from a Nativity scene on the lawn of the Wellington, Fla., community center, village officials didn't follow a star to locate him. A GPS device mounted inside the life-size ceramic figurine led sheriff's deputies to a nearby apartment, where it was found face down on the carpet. An 18-year-old woman was arrested in the theft.
Giving up on old-fashioned padlocks and trust, a number of churches, synagogues, governments and ordinary citizens are turning to technology to protect holiday displays from pranks or prejudice.
It's a sign of the times. Holiday display theft is on the rise, and Baby Jesus is a particularly common target.
- At First United Methodist Church in Kittanning, PA., a baby Jesus was stolen and replaced with a pumpkin.
- In Eureka Springs, AK., someone who took off with a plastic baby Jesus from a public display, as well as the concrete block and chain that was supposed to keep it locked down.
- In Meridian Hills, IN, a couple stole the figurine, and then led police on a high-speed chase in an effort to keep their loot.
- A parishioner of a Brooklyn church prayed that whoever stole the Baby Jesus from a $1,700 Nativity scene dedicated to his late parents would have the heart to return it.
Sensing the opportunity, reports NBC News, security companies have increasingly started rolling out products and special seasonal contracts specifically designed to address the threat. "We have seen a growing number of cities and homeowners simply frustrated with holiday theft and vandalism, and that is the primary reason behind the increased use of GPS theft recovery systems during the holidays," explained a Tracking System Direct specialist.
"Stealing" Jesus isn't just a "seasonal" threat.
Everyday, whether at the hands of false religions, pseudo-Christian cults, false prophets, or even secular humanists and atheists, Jesus is being plucked from his place of prominence in the Gospel message.
Materialists and commercialists pluck him from the center of the Christmas season and replace Him with Santas and sleighs and gifts and gadgets galore.
Secular humanists and atheists rob Him of His divinity, reducing Him to mere human, or worse yet, mythical status.
Take whatever security measures are necessary to keep Jesus in your Christmas this holiday season, giving Him, in all His glory, His place of preeminence.
"Giving thanks unto the Father ... Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence" (Colossians 1:12-18, KJV).