CLINTONVILLE - As Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, some Lutheran parishioners in Clintonville feel meddling with one's religion is something that is off-limits.
"People have no morals anymore, because it just seems like – there's some things that people shouldn't mess with," said Steve Beilfuss of Marion after St. Martin's Christmas Day service let out.
Saint Martin, Saint Paul and Christus Lutheran had their baby Jesus figurines stolen from their outdoor manger displays in early December.
Members of Saint Paul and Saint Martin put a replacement in the manger for the holiday.
"It's disheartening that people are taking the baby Jesus from manger scenes," said St. Martin Rev. Daniel Burns.
Christus did not.
"Well, miracle or just simple kindness," said Christus Lutheran Rev. Brian Crocker when asked if he was hoping for a Christmas miracle for the figurines return. "I kind of expected to see it there this morning."
There was hope that the Jesus figurines would be returned to their respective mangers at their respective churches by Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. That didn't happen. But there's still hope that the figurines will be returned, eventually.
Crocker says the figurine doesn't matter much when you boil down the real purpose of celebrating Christmas.
"It's God's arrival in flesh and blood, not in a plastic doll," he explained.
Crocker says it's sad the three churches are on the receiving end of someone's prank or malicious act. But he still has faith.
"I still have a lot of faith in folks that, you know, this time of the year they'll find the good in themselves," said Crocker.
As for Burns, he says whoever took the figurines should know there's always a way out.
"No matter what, Christ forgives people for sinners – for sins," explained Burns. "And we're all sinners and we all fall short of the glory of God."
Clintonville Police would not comment to FOX 11 about the case, saying there was no new information at this time.
Police have told us before they intend to charge the culprit – if the person is ever found.
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