MODESTO - Baby Jesus was taken from the manger at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Modesto last Tuesday night; a church administrator noticed that it was missing Wednesday morning.
Pastor Ryan Cortright said it's disappointing that someone would steal the heart of Christmas by stealing baby Jesus from the manger. But, losing Baby Jesus would not dampen anyone's spirits, he added.
Nearly four days after it was taken, someone gave the congregation renewed faith. An anonymous person found a toy baby and placed it in the manger.
"That's an amazing gift to give that was somehow taken," church member Peter Molina said. "We don't know if we'll get the original back. But, someone was kind enough to do that."
It's not the original baby Jesus from the set, but it means just as much that someone took the time to replace it.
"That's exciting that somebody took the time to put a baby back to represent baby Jesus," church member Donna Butler said.
For the person who took the original, there are plenty of prayers.