As Jesus Himself told us, He is the light of the world and we are to follow in His footsteps.
We’re called to bring light and life to those who are trapped in darkness.
There’s no time like Christmas to remind us of that calling. The season of Christ’s birth offers rich opportunities to share the light of salvation and hope with our loved ones.
And one film serves as a poignant reminder that as followers of Christ, our acts of love brings more light than we could ever imagine.
The Christmas Candle begins with the telling of a simple folk tale.
Once upon a time in a village called Gladbury, a candlemaker by the name of Haddington longed to bring hope and light to his community. He worked hard at his craft, selling the best candles he could make, and prayed often for God to work a miracle in his village.
His prayers were answered in a most unusual way.
An angel blessed a single candle in the candlemaker’s shop and the candle was given to the family who was most in need of help. “Light it and pray,” the family was commanded, and they obeyed.
A miracle followed, reviving the faith of an entire village, and became a tradition every twenty-five years. A single blessed candle was the vessel for a Yuletide miracle in the midst of a downtrodden and often discouraged community.
The Christmas Candle became a point of pride and excitement for the entire village, and the candlemakers’ family was no exception. Haddingtons for generations were proud to continue the tradition and often boasted of their work.
As the film opens, viewers find that the residents of Gladbury lean heavily on the promise of a miracle every twenty-five years. They’re shocked when David, the new minister, arrives in the village and is instantly skeptical of their tradition.
His doubt seems to echo the sentiments of a world that’s swiftly moving on from traditional practices of faith. “In a world illuminated by modern marvels,” many people wonder, “who needs the light of a simple candle?”
David’s skepticism is fueled by tragedy in his own life, but he also struggles to understand the need for miracles in a place where people can help each other simply by showing love.
When he sees a long line of people requesting the Christmas Candle in order to receive their Christmas miracle, David finds himself frustrated. Yes, God may work miracles, but He also wants His people to be active on behalf of those around them.
“Does your neighbor need a miracle this Christmas?” he asks his new congregation. “Well, why not be that miracle?”
In other words, why not love your neighbors and spread the light of Christ instead of waiting for God to perform a miracle?
His inspiring words transform a village of pained people, encouraging them into a flurry of good works. Houses are repaired. Meals are shared. Gifts are given, and joy spreads throughout Gladbury.
“Every single one of you who has allowed the light of Christ to shine through your good works this Advent season,” David praises his congregants.
In the meantime, the candle-making Haddingtons struggle to fight their own selfishness.
After all, their family has given hope and light to Gladbury for almost two hundred years. Aren’t they due for a miracle of their own? Couldn’t they keep the candle for themselves?
As Christmas draws nearer, disasters abound even in the midst of neighborly love and everyday miracles, and David confesses that he simply cannot believe in the huge miracles the villagers are praying for.
God calls us to work for others, but He also calls us to believe in His work on our behalf. How can we balance the two? What is our part, and what is God’s part? And does He even work miracles anymore?
The Christmas Candle is a compelling tale that illustrates the balance between faith and good works. David’s struggle to believe mirrors the skepticism many of us face as modern Christians, and viewers will find a host of other relatable characters in the film.