One of my favorite memories of Christmas revolves around coming home from Christmas Eve service and then watching Gian Carlo Menotti’s “Amahl and the Night Visitors” on the Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation. As I think back, it probably wasn’t on Christmas Eve every year, but somehow that is the tradition that seems to surface from my memory banks. The interesting thing is that its original primere broadcast was on Decermber 24, 1951.
I know the TV would have been on in our home to see it. My mom would not have let an opportunity to hear an opera pass her by if she could help it. I know that as I grew older, I looked for the listing every year. The last yearly broadcast of “Amahl” was in 1966. Long after that, I know I still searched for it. Luckily, by 1970, I got to be in a production of it at OSU and understudy the mother’s part. I never got to sing it, but it sure was a dream come true to sing in the chorus and have my mom and dad in the audience.
Even today, as I watch the DVD 1955 version, the music is still fabulous. The singing mesmerizing. But it is the ending- – – that amazing moment when music and singers crescendo to journey towards the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes underneath the guiding Light of a star, while wise men lead a crippled boy in his first steps toward He who waits………. the infant Yeshua, Immanuel, Messiah, Shepherd, Christ, Light, WORD, Lord, Prince of Peace, Rock, Lamb, Counsellor, King, Rabbi, and now Healer.
“Many crowds came to him who had the lame and the blind and dumb and the crippled and many others, and they laid them at the feet of Yeshua and he healed them.”~Matt 15:30
A rocky outcropping sets our limping feet on a new path – just like Amahl. If we are lucky, we have wise men guiding us forward. We continue to seek the Light that shines overhead. Some nights it is easy to see the path. Some nights the clouds darken the sky, and we can only feel our way by faith that the Light is still there – hidden – but there guiding us forward. Until finally, we understand. We throw away the crutch and creep into the stable on our knees to see that which we seek. It is a story that has been replayed over and over throughout history – just like I continue to watch “Amahl and the Night Visitors” every Christmas Eve. It will continue to replay over and over until Our Father sends the Healer one more time.
And this time? The Healer will heal the world for a 1000 years.