Hello my friends. Those of you that follow my blog, know that I have been leading a weekly study of each episode in Season one and two of The Chosen, and after watching and discussing the second season finale just after Thanksgiving, I announced that as a bonus and as a Christmas gift from me, I had purchased 30 tickets for all of us to see the amazing production of Christmas with the Chosen, The Messenger. Tickets were for December 1, opening day, and everyone was excited and anxious to go. A few unexpected things happened that day, however, and I thought I would share them with you.
The first hour of the production was filled with awesome Christmas music by Christian artists like Matt Mare and a children’s world choir, but after about 40 minutes, the film stopped, and the theater went dark.
I have to say that I wasn’t too awfully surprised when everyone just sat there in the dark, waiting for something to happen. I patiently waited for an excruciatingly, long 30 seconds to see if anyone in the lower rows made a move for the door to voice a complaint. No one did., so I left my seat in the nosebleed section to inform the staff in the concession stand that the movie had stopped. The young teenagers behind the counter all looked at each other and froze, quite similar to the reaction of the movie goers that I had just left sitting in the dark.
I politely suggested they call for the manager, who finally showed up 5 minutes later. She didn’t seem much older than the staff dispensing popcorn, but she walked with authority and held her walkie talkie with an abundance of confidence. As she proceeded up the elevator to the projection room in the floor above, I returned to the theater and informed the packed audience that help was on the way. They applauded.
I passed the time checking on my friends who were sitting in the first two rows, but then I felt God poking at me to take this unexpected opportunity to speak to the crowd. I reminded everyone in the theater that the delay had afforded us the time to thank God for this amazing production and to also ask for His help in fixing the broken film. Everyone seemed to agree as silence fell and heads bowed.
After ten long minutes had passed and still no film, I retreated to the hallway in search of an update. I found a young teen walking towards me, and He informed me that it would be another five minutes but, in the meantime, he would be handing out free consolation movie passes to everyone affected by the delay. How marvelous was that.
I then passed a stranger in the hall, who had taken advantage of the black out to use the restroom and as we passed, she announced that she firmly believed that the Devil had stopped the film but assured me that she had rebuked him thoroughly during her brief visit to the facilities down the hall. I smiled and countered with, “The Devil may have played a part in our blackout, but it was God who helped restore the film. On top of that, He has also blessed us with additional free movie passes to come back and see The Chosen Christmas again!” She smiled and praised God quite loudly as she reentered the theater.
On my final climb back up the stairs to the nosebleed section of the theater, which by the way is my favorite spot, a lady, sitting on the end of the isle, asked who was responsible for getting the film fixed and, more importantly, who was responsible for getting her a free ticket. Another woman in the audience replied and pointed her finger at me, but I assured them both that God and the theater manager had played a much larger role in our good fortune than I had.
The woman thanked me anyway and said she had something for me. I was quite taken back, to say the least. I had no idea what this stranger could possibly have for me. She dug around in her purse and produced a cross made from nails.
handed it to me and gave me a giant grin. She informed me that she really wasn’t supposed to be there. She explained that she had recently been admitted to the hospital for a serious condition requiring major surgery and a lengthy projected stay in intensive care. She continued to explain that one day, prior to surgery, she had a vision of a golden rainbow, which she was certain signified the presence of God. Upon seeing this, she was assured that everything would be ok and that she didn’t need to worry.
When the time for surgery came and they opened her up, the tumor simply fell out, according to what she remembers her doctor telling her. I must admit that though I believe in miracles, this sounded a bit preposterous, but she insisted that the doctors were surprised and amazed that not only did the tumor “fall out”, but there was no other, pre surgery questionable, abnormalities found either. She told me that she was only required to stay in Intensive care for a couple of days and was released shortly after that
She insisted a miracle had happened and that when she was released from the hospital, someone had given her a cross made of nails, similar to the one she had given me. I graciously accepted her gift and thanked her. She Smiled and insisted that God must have wanted her to be here today to see this amazing film. With that we both began to cry just as the movie resumed. I returned to my seat and held this precious gift in one hand and my tissue in the other.
The film was an exceptional, unforgettably moving, reflection of the Nativity story from the viewpoint of Mother Mary telling her personal recollection of what occured that wonderful night. She told her story to Mary Magdelena with both a sense of urgency and importance. She needed, no, almost insisted that the details of her son’s birth be written down and carefully hand delivered to the Apostle, Luke to be included in his account of the life of Jesus.
I don’t believe that there were many dry eyes in the theater after watching a perfect blend of two time periods, with Mary as a young pregnant teen giving birth to the Messiah and the elder version of Mary in her later years, in hiding after the Messiah was gone. It appeared as though she knew her time to leave this world was at hand and that she was the only one left to give the intimate account of her and Joseph’s encounters with Heavenly Messengers, their challenging trek to Bethlehem, her fond memories of a loving relationship with Joseph, and that indescribable moment when she first laid eyes on the face of God.
No one had ever seen God until that moment in Bethlehem. Mosses had felt His presence in a burning bush, Angels had come and delivered messages from God, and some had heard his voice, but no one had ever looked upon the face of God. This child, bloody and dirty, born in a smelly stable, was the same God who spoke creation into existence, and now He was crying as a newborn baby in Mary’s arms. How awesome! How amazing! How incredible this story is!
The Chosen Christmas story, The Messenger, gave us a glimpse and a taste of the wonder of God’s unconditional love for us, when God traded his heavenly throne for a humble manger just because he couldn’t stand being separated from us any longer. The Christmas story is a love story and the first chapter of God’s sacrificial journey towards our salvation.
Everyone should know this story, feel this story, believe in the power of this story. Messengers foretold this story long ago. Now it’s up to us to share it with the world. We are God’s Messengers now.
As we all left the theater, I asked one of my guests what his favorite part was. He motioned to his ear and shook his head. His wife explained that he had lost some of his hearing after chemotherapy.
I stopped right in the middle of the hallway and called other of our church members over and right there in the middle of the AMC theater in front of everyone, we prayed for him, laying hands on him, and then another came, and then another. GOD WAS WITH US. THE HOLY SPIRIT WAS WITH US. It was an amazing night.
Thank You. Thank you to all who gave so much to bring this story to life. To bring Christians from all denominations together to share in remembering the moment that God came to dwell among us. Thank You.
If you have not seen this film or either of the Chosen Seasons, you can find it through The Chosen app or Vidangel.
Blessings to all and may you find peace, Joy and God’s love this holy season.