Great show. If you haven’t seen this one, you should feel terrible about yourself and apologize to the world for neglecting your yuletide classics of the 1940s.
British actor David Niven plays the bishop. Disney fans might recognize him from much later roles in No Deposit, No Return (1976) or Candleshoe (1977). But if you only ever see one other David Niven film, make it The Guns of Navarone (1961).
Loretta Young plays the bishop’s wife. I haven’t seen in her any other films, but supposedly she was a popular actress back in the day.
Some other guy plays the angel, but his name escapes me at the moment…I really shouldn’t forget, but his lengthy, complicated name is always such an affair to remember.
OH, SOMETHING YOU SHOULD KNOW: There was a 1996 re-make of this movie called The Preacher’s Wife, starring Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston. I bring that up only as a thinly veiled transition to telling you that if I ever have a greatest hits album I want the cover to be of me using power tools to construct a claustrophobic, life-size box made out of my hit records while I squeal in giddy delight at the sudden, unexplained breeze blowing through my hair that lifts both my spirits and my left leg.
So the good bishop in this movie prayed for guidance concerning fundraising for a new building. But the answer God’s messenger came to deliver wasn’t about the bishop’s cathedral — it was about the bishop’s wife.
God often doesn’t send us the message we want, but He will always send us the message we need. Thus the importance of being spiritually sensitive enough to recognize God’s messages and the channels through which they come.
In this case, God sent an angel. While that channel may seem uncommon, I believe it happens more often that we think, since most angelic communications are felt or heard rather than seen.
As Jeffrey R. Holland once said concerning the ministry of angels:
“Usually such beings are not seen. Sometimes they are. But seen or unseen they are always near… God never leaves us alone, never leaves us unaided in the challenges that we face. ‘[N]or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man [or woman or child] upon the face thereof to be saved.’”
“Have miracles ceased? Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men.” – Moroni 7:29