I went to the five-hanky Amahl and the Night Visitors again this year — so moving for so many reasons. I’m moved by the Italian composer’s last-minute inspiration to use the three kings of his childhood as the basis for the opera commissioned for a live television broadcast, the love between the mother and child, their extreme poverty, young Amahl’s optimism, the miracle, and numerous lines — “the keys to his kingdom belong to the poor,” “for such a king, I have waited all my life.”
The Catholic church in Concord sets up a crêche outside the parish hall every year. They don’t complete it and place the baby in the manger until Christmas Eve.
I like to think of the kneeling figures as waiting, although once the tableau is complete, they are seen as worshiping.
I see them as waiting and believing that a reason to be hopeful is coming. And I think their belief plays a role in making it come true.