What is a nativity?
Here's the answer:
A nativity is something people set up at Christmas to show what things might have looked like the night Jesus was born.
You may have seen a nativity before. It has many of the things from the Christmas story in Luke 2:1–20. It might have been a picture, a carving, toys, or even people posing. It would have had these things: Jesus in a manger (which is a food trough for animals) along with his mother, Mary and his earthly father Joseph; animals; and shepherds. Sometimes there are also angels, a star, and a barn or stable. The three wise men with their gifts might be there too, even though the wise men didn’t actually meet Jesus until He was two years old.
Many years ago, a man named Francis of Assisi created the very first nativity scene. He had traveled to Israel and visited the place where Jesus was born, so he wanted to show people what he thought it might have looked like on the first Christmas. Today we use it as a way to remind us what Christmas is really all about: Jesus’ birth!
"[Mary] is going to have a son. You must give him the name Jesus. That’s because he will save his people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21).
"She gave birth to her first baby. It was a boy. She wrapped him in large strips of cloth. Then she placed him in a manger. That’s because there was no guest room where they could stay" (Luke 2:7).
"So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and the baby. The baby was lying in the manger. After the shepherds had seen him, they told everyone. They reported what the angel had said about this child" (Luke 2:16-17).