Wednesday, December 21

Christmas Gift of the Heart

My all-time favorite Christmas movie, well, of all movies, is The Bishop’s Wife. (Not The Preacher’s Wife!) I watch it a couple of times throughout the year.

If you have never watched it, I highly recommend it. Hearing Cary Grant tell the story of David and the lion and then reciting Psalm 23 is wonderful.

If you’ve never watched it, here’s a synopsis of the movie...

Bishop Henry Brougham (David Niven) prays for divine guidance as he is troubled about the building of a large cathedral. The answer to his prayer comes in the form of an angel named Dudley (Cary Grant), initially known only to the bishop.

Everyone, except for Henry, is charmed by the angel, even the non-religious Professor Wutheridge.

Dudley’s mission is not to help with the funding of the cathedral but to guide Henry and the people around him. Henry becomes obsessed with the building to the detriment of his marriage to his neglected, unhappy wife, Julia (Loretta Young).

Dudley persuades the wealthy parishioner Mrs. Hamilton to contribute the needed funds but not to build the cathedral. He helps her decide to give her money to feed and clothe the needy, much to Henry’s displeasure.

As Dudley spends time cheering up Julia, he finds himself becoming strongly attracted to her. Sensing this, Henry becomes jealous and anxious for his unwelcome guest to finish his mission and depart.

After talking to his friend Professor Wutheridge, Henry stands up to Dudley, who realizes his mission of guidance is now complete and promises never to return. He tells Henry that all memory of him will be erased, and on Christmas Eve at midnight, Henry delivers the sermon that he believes he has written.

Since I’m part of’s blog chain this month, and the topic is Gift of the Heart, the sermon the bishop gives at the end of the movie instantly popped into my mind.

It goes like this...

“Tonight, I want to tell you the story of an empty stocking.

Once upon a midnight clear, there was a child’s cry, a blazing star hung over a stable, and wise men came with birthday gifts.

We haven’t forgotten that night down the centuries; we celebrate it with stars on the Christmas trees, with the sound of bells, and with gifts. But especially with gifts.

You give me a book; I give you a tie. Aunt Martha has always wanted an orange squeezer, and Uncle Henry could do with a new pipe.

Oh, we forget nobody, adult or child. All the stockings are filled, all, that is, except one. And we have even forgotten to hang it up: the stocking for the child born in a manger. It’s His birthday we’re celebrating. Don’t let us ever forget that.

Let us ask ourselves what He would wish for most and then, let each put in his share: lovingkindness, warm hearts, and a stretched-out hand of tolerance. All the shining gifts make peace on earth.”

The Father shared of Himself and sent His Son into the world.

The Lord gave of His heart; what gift of your heart do you give Christ this year?

Do you bring sacrificial gifts to the Christ-child out of your heart’s treasury? Gifts like the purity of holiness? The costly fragrance of continual prayer? A cleansed soul, preserved from eternal death?

Do you offer Him your heart as His manger, as an empty vessel for His resting place? Or is it full of jealousy, envy, hatred, unforgiveness, self-pity, lust, anger, or prejudice?

Do you leave Him no room to “lay down His sweet head”? Have you said, “Sorry, there is no room for You in this inn”?

Give the Babe of the manger the lodging place He deserves. Give Him the gift of your heart.

May your Christmas be blessed with a special touch of the Lord’s presence.

***This is part of Christian Writers. Please visit the great sites in the blog chain listed in the right sidebar.

33 Responses
  1. I love The Bishop's Wife. Thanks for reminding me of the wonderful movie and message.

  2. I absolutely loved this, Lynn.

    The Bishop's Wife is a movie I haven't seen. I'll definitely have to watch it now.

    Merry Christmas!

  3. Unknown Says:

    Great post! It's been years since I have seen that movie, I'll have to find it somewhere.

    Isn't it amazing that we need to do some housecleaning before we can receive guests.

    Merry Christmas!

  4. Jack Brown Says:

    first a biiiiiig Christmas hug
    It's a long time since I watched The Bishops wife so I'll have another look at it. just had a thought whilst reading your lovely post..... Jesus is not just Gods gift of His heart....He is Gods heart....
    biiiiig hug

  5. Great post, Lynn. They don't make Christmas movies like they used to. I love the idea of hanging a stocking up for Baby Jesus and spiritually filling it up from our heart.

    Our family tradition includes a birthday cake for Jesus and making a wish for Him before blowing out the candle. I'd like to add the stocking tradition, too.

  6. E. G. Lewis Says:

    Love this movie as well...have watched it several times. Dudley??Personally, I would have given the angel another name. Have a wonderful Christmas. Peace and Blessings

  7. Wow I've never heard of that movie before, I'm with everyone else, I've got to see it now! lol, great post and Merry Christmas!

  8. Tracy Krauss Says:

    There are lots of great holiday classics out there, that's for sure. Blessings to you this Christmas and in the coming year.

  9. This story made me reflect on how I am balancing my aspirations at work with my families needs. It's not easy. As a teacher, there is always more that can be done, but I have to force myself away from my desk and tend to my family.

  10. I have never heard of the movie, thanks for recommending it. Have a Merry Christmas Lynn, blessings to your house!

  11. chris Says:

    I don't remember this one Lynn but will be sure to check it out. You've touched my heat today with your wonderful post :)

  12. lynnmosher Says:

    Hey, Annie-girl! So happy to see you! I've missed you. Glad you love the movie as well. I hope they never colorize it! Yuck! May you have a very blessed Christmas!

  13. lynnmosher Says:

    Deborah, thank you so much for taking time to visit and leave a comment. I appreciate it. I know you will enjoy the movie. It's wonderful! Merry Christmas!

  14. lynnmosher Says:

    Terrie, thanks so much for your kind words! I appreciate your visit. Hope you get to see it again! May you have a blessed Christmas!

  15. lynnmosher Says:

    Jacky, what a great thought! I should have thought of that! Wish I had! LOL Hope you get to see it again. Thank you so much for dropping by and commenting. May you have a blessed Christmas!

  16. lynnmosher Says:

    Hey, Carol! You are so right! They don't make 'em like that any more. We used to have a birthday cake when we celebrated at my mother-in-law's. I think I need to do it now! I like the stocking idea as well. I had thought about putting up a stocking and let everyone put in something. Hope you have a very blessed Christmas!

  17. lynnmosher Says:

    Yay! Edward, another fan of the movie! LOL I think the name Dudley was popular back then. It does seem strange though, doesn't it? Thanks so much for your comment. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

  18. lynnmosher Says:

    Hello, Suzette! So happy to have you visit and comment. Thank you so much! I know you will love the movie. Hope you get to see it! And hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

  19. lynnmosher Says:

    Thanks for stopping by, Tracy! I appreciate it. Hope you have a very special Christmas!

  20. lynnmosher Says:

    So glad you liked my post, Mike! Thank you! I know you'll find that delicate balance because your heart desires it. May your Christmas be a very special one!

  21. lynnmosher Says:

    Hey, Marja! Oh, yes! I hope you get to see the movie. I hope the Lord bless you with a special touch of His presence this Christmas! Love you!

  22. lynnmosher Says:

    LOL Sorry, Chris! Had to laugh at your typo! Hope you get to see the movie. Thank you so much for stopping by. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

  23. I watched that movie last week and that is what inspired my CW chain post entitled "the unfilled stocking"

    I also like "The Preacher's Wife" for the song "Who Would Imagine a King?" and the quote from the child which goes like this...just because you don't see the air, you don't stop breathing and just because you don't see God you don't stop believing.

  24. lynnmosher Says:

    Oh, Christine! I am so behind. I haven't had a chance to read yours yet. Great minds think alike! Thanks so much for your comment. I love that quote. Hope you have a very blessed Christmas!

  25. Traci B Says:

    Beautiful post, Lynn. I haven't seen The Bishop's Wife, but it sounds like an excellent Christmas movie.

    Your message is perfect for the season, and I pray it touches many hearts.

  26. Yes. We often forget that we are celebrating the birth of Jesus and so we get engrossed in shopping,giving and receiving gifts and overeating and drinking.
    We need to focus more on inviting Christ into our hearts and sharing with the needy.
    God bless you Lynn.

  27. What a wonderful post, Lynn! I love the Bishop's Wife and sadly haven't seen it yet this year. I think it's time. :) Merry Christmas to you and your family. You and your words are a blessing and a gift, for which I am deeply grateful.

  28. Keith Wallis Says:

    Watch the Bishop's wife ? The elder's wife might give him trouble for casting glances elsewhere at Christmas !
    Have a really blessed time this Christmas.

  29. A beautiful post, Lynn. I have never seen the Bishop's Wife. I think I will have to track that one down.

    Your message is timeless and so true. Where our hearts are, there lies our treasure.

    Merry Christmas, Lynn. May it be filled with abundant blessings, the kind only a loving, compassionate God can give.

  30. Thank you Lynn - great inspiring post! May our hearts be bent towards the One Who gave His heart for us - that we might know perfect love now and always. Merry Christmas!

  31. Scott Fields Says:

    I'm not a real believer in guardian angels . . . but I do believe that if I had one, his name would probably be Dudley. Or Irving. Or Josh, perhaps.

    Beautiful post, Lynn. Convicting, too, which I'm not a huge fan of. Oh, well. I needed the reminder. ;-)

  32. Keri Mae Says:

    Meekness. That's what He wants more of from me. And oy that one's gonna hurt.

  33. lynnmosher Says:

    Oh, my! I am so behind on thanking everyone. Forgive me Traci, Meg, Cindee, Keith, Ceci, Deborah, Scott, and Keri Mae. I so appreciate your taking time to read and comment. I'm honored. Blessings to you for a wonderful New Year.