Lighted display at Missouri Synod national headquarters highlights Nativity
Wise Men, Shepherds move across building, toward Bethlehem
ST. LOUIS—December 20, 2011—For three decades, a lighted display on the exterior windows of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) International Center office building, 1333 S. Kirkwood Road in Kirkwood, Mo., has shown the progressing scene of the Nativity through Epiphany on Jan. 6.
Watching the "moving" display has become a family tradition for many local residents, who grew up seeing the lights and now enjoy them with their own children.
In the early 1980s, an illuminated outline of Bethlehem appeared in the window of the chapel of the building as part of the LCMS' Christmas display.
While the "city" (Bethlehem) is outlined with white lights, the place representing where Christ was born is illuminated in red lights with an orange light representing Baby Jesus. The display is illuminated from 4-11 p.m. daily through Epiphany, the holiday commemorating the visit of the Wise Men to the baby Jesus.
Above the stable, an illuminated star lights the way for the Wise Men bringing their gifts for baby Jesus as found in Matthew 2. Above the star is an angel hovering over the stable, keeping an eye on Jesus after announcing His arrival to the shepherds.
Along the windows facing Kirkwood Road, Wise Men approach from the East. The intent is for the Wise Men and camels, along with the two shepherds and sheep, to slowly move across the building toward the city, arriving in Bethlehem for Epiphany.
The lighted display was hand-crafted by Brother Mel Meyer of the Marianist Galleries located on the grounds of Vianney High School, behind the International Center.
Over the years, the LCMS has received numerous phone inquiries about the Bethlehem scene.
"This display has been a terrific way for us to remind people about the reason that we celebrate Christmas, the birth of our Savior," said David Fiedler, director of general services for the LCMS. "We are proud to be a part of this community, and hope that this adds to the festiveness of the season for those who see it."
About The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), is a mission-oriented, Bible-based, confessional Christian denomination headquartered in St. Louis, Mo. Founded in 1847, the LCMS has more than 2.3 million baptized members in some 6,200 congregations and more than 9,000 pastors. Two seminaries and 10 colleges and universities operate under the auspices of the LCMS, and its congregations operate the largest Protestant parochial school system in America. The church broadcasts the saving message of Jesus Christ over KFUO Radio, and it has relationships and active mission work in 89 countries around the world. In the last five years, the LCMS has awarded more than $35 million through more than 900 domestic and international grants for emergency response and disaster relief. Today, the LCMS is in full doctrinal fellowship with 33 other confessional Lutheran church bodies worldwide and is a founding partner of Lutheran Services in America, a social ministry organization serving one in every 50 Americans. For more information, visit www.lcms.org.