Tag Archives: Amahl and the Night Visitors

CHRISTMAS PLANS (1 Day and Counting)

“Christmas is that moment when GOD in His unconditional love stepped out of Heaven to come to Earth so that one day we might step out of Earth and into Heaven for all eternity.” ~ Rev Charles Stanley.

This quote may not be exactly what Rev. Stanley said this morning, but I think it is close enough. As I was working on the infamous “mocking stocking” and being “fed” my bread for the day, I had to totally stop what I was doing and do some fast writing. I had tried to just listen, but that inner nudge kept knocking me on the head – over and over. So I stopped, picked up a pencil, and began to write some notes.

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of GOD…”~1 Peter 5:6

It is hard when chaos is swirling, plans are laid out and time is short for me to surrender to that inner (sometimes painful) nudge. The good thing about being an elder in this life, I’ve learned not ignore those nudges – well – – – mostly – – – at least – – – I think.

Tonight,, I still managed to get everything on my list done. Go, me! Better yet – I found time to sing along with the Christmas carols on TV, write a few devotional notes, and feel the Holy Spirit quicken the heart that had not been focused on Him into some attentive, meditative prayer. Sure enough, when I returned to my own to-do list, the stomach didn’t hurt with anxiety. The fingers worked easier with the tiny stitches. A new picture – a better picture – formed in my little creative endeavor. Best of all, all the stockings – even the mocking stocking – are finished. Well – mostly – a few tiny details tomorrow, and that mocking stocking will be hung by the chimney with care.

Glorious impossibles happen in humble obedience.

Tomorrow night, I will watch Amahl and the Night Visitors (my all time favorite Christmas movie) and will let that bittersweet memory Christmas memory swirl over me. 

🎄Sitting on the floor as we watched Amahl.
🎄A very small TV screen.
🎄Plastic horses scattered around me.
🎄Parents sitting on the couch or in their chairs.
🎄A huge Christmas tree with bubble lights.
🎄An angel at the top with blond hair.

“Amahl, Amahl…”

Tomorrow, I will listen to the laughter of my leaves of three all gathered under one roof again and think of my oldest son far off enjoying a wonderful vacation with his family by a warm ocean. Breaking bread, singing carols, making a few crafts, listening to the jibber-jabber of the Grands. waiting for the sound of Santa’s bells in the distance which will tell me when it is time to go home and wait for the Glorious impossible.

Reading Luke Chapter 2.
Watching Midnight Mass from the Vatican.
Standing outside for as I say my Christmas prayers.
Waiting and watching and listening for when He returns 
Another Glorious Impossible.

“‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come.”~Rev 4:8b   


We have COME to the night I love most out of the whole year. A night where Expectations…Traditions…Sacred dreams…Peace to all of good will…Family and friends…Love…all wrapped together to form the perfect present to a world so desperate and needy.

COME to a crowded town where weary travelers grab whatever shelter they can afford or find. COME to a stable filled with ordinary animals – doing ordinary things. COME to a hillside where some shepherds had their spiritual eyes and ears open enough to receive a message in the dark of night. COME and hear the cry of a newborn infant lying in a manger.

COME and see the first gift of Christmas.

Christmas stockings finished and hung from their pegs. Polar Express and cuddles from the Grands before bedtime and Santa. Hugs from the daughters – one who journeyed all day to find her place in our arms – and one who shares her life with me on a daily basis. Communion meals of family and songs of praise in my heart. Quiet devotions and listening to one song in particular.


COME. OH COME. Adore the infant face that showed us the face of His Father. COME. Bend the arthritic, broken knees and dance as Amahl did with the Night Visitors. COME – not just to the church for beautiful songs and holy rituals – but COME to the star light of the child who still is being born in HOPE, JOY, PEACE and LOVE. COME, ye nations till everyone hears and praises His holy name forever.



A BLESSED CHRIST-MASS TO ALL and to all a good night.



“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”~Is 53Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 10.49.44 AM

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 was 6 months old.daddy and me

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.

5472_lEven 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.

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