(RNS) — At the Nativity display outside Faith Church of Lafayette, Indiana, the baby will be laid in a manger this year, surrounded by friendly beasts — except for the donkeys. They bite. In the past, the camels have been known to kick.
The church’s Lafayette Living Nativity, which Faith has hosted since 1991, may be one of the few Christmas traditions that go off in usual fashion in a pandemic year.
“We’ve been practicing for this moment for the last 30 years,” said the Rev. Steve Viars, senior pastor of Faith, who estimates that a quarter of a million visitors have attended the event in that time.
Live Nativities, in which visitors drive — and sometimes, especially in warmer climes, walk — through a