A Kalk Bay priest had to think quickly and alter his Christmas Eve sermon after a figurine of the baby Jesus was stolen from the churchs nativity scene. Photo: Sam Clark

A Kalk Bay priest had to think quickly and alter his Christmas Eve sermon after a figurine of the baby Jesus was stolen from the church’s nativity scene.

The 30cm figure went missing from the Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Kalk Bay. The Reverend Canon Ronald Phillips said the empty crib was discovered just before the Christmas Eve service.

“About three hours before the service, we noticed that all the other figures were there, except the most important - the baby Jesus.”

But rather than panicking, Phillips used the figure’s absence as the central theme of his sermon.

He had told the congregation that Jesus’s absence did not mean a total absence - instead, he was “involved in the life of all the world”.

“It was a very powerful message.”

For the children’s service on Christmas morning, Phillips took the baby Jesus from his nativity at home and hid it in the church, asking the children to find it and carry it to the crib.

“It was a very powerful thing to do, and it all worked out well.

“I hope that whoever has it enjoys him!” - Cape Argus