BOSTON (CBS) — Andover State Rep. James Lyons got to the State House early today to set up a nativity scene.

It’s the first time in recent memory that there’s been a nativity scene there–and Lyons isn’t sure if there’s ever been one.

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Lyons was told he could not have a nativity scene on the lawn of the State House, so he contacted the Thomas Moore Society, which then contacted a group of Boston lawyers–and a few days ago, Lyons was told he could have a nativity scene inside the building, in the Great Hall of Flags.

The nativity was set to be open from noon to 3 p.m. Thursday.

Rep. Lyons told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens he’s glad for the opportunity to display the nativity.

“This is what Christmas is all about,” Lyons said. “The nativity scene is representative of a lot of Christians … Jesus entered the world and love hope and joy was his message, and that’s what we want people to understand, that’s our message.”

He said he hopes to make the nativity an annual tradition.

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WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports