A heartwarming tale of faith, trust, belief, and tradition, best-selling author Max Lucado’s A Christmas Candle movie will warm your soul. Set in the quaint village of Gladbury, England, a tale is told of an angel who visits the Haddington Candlery every 25th year.
With a touch, the angel blesses a candle. With the first visit, the candle maker gave the candle to a poor orphan girl.
“Light this candle and pray,” he said.
Miraculously, the orphan and her brother are taken to a large manor house, their lives changed forever.
After 200 years of visits, the story is holds true to the residents of Gladbury. And every quarter of a century, the people pray it is their turn to be blessed with the coveted Christmas candle.
This Christmas however, the story of the Christmas candle is challenged by David Richmond (Hans Matheson) who is asked…begged by Lady Camdon (Barbara Flynn) to come to Gladbury to be their preacher. “You gave me hope,” she said. According to Lady Camden, people came from miles to hear the words spoken by Preacher Richmond.
Now serving with the Salvation Army feeding the poor, David resists the opportunity, stating that the poor need him now. “Anyone can feed the poor,” she said. “My only hope is that you’ll serve where your gift is needed most.”
Upon his arrival to Gladbury, David stumbles upon spunky, independent Emily Barstow (Samantha Barks) whose horse and carriage is stuck in a creek. She gossips about the coming preacher, and after realizing he is her rescuer, gives him a sweet smile and goes on her way.
Once in town, David receives a bright welcome from the current candle makers Edward (Sylvester McCoy) and Bea Haddington (Lesley Manville). However, David’s ignorance of the Christmas candle slightly miffs the Haddingtons, as well as the other villagers when David dismisses the Christmas candle as mere legend.
Throughout the film, David must merge his faith in God’s providence with a belief (or disbelief) in miracles.
As he tries to use the congregation to help each other and love their neighbor, the majority of villagers are still counting on their prayers after each lighting a candle they believe to be the Christmas candle.
In the end, faith wins, but the journey to a restored faith creates wholeness not only for hurting members of the congregation, but for David as well.
The Christmas Candle is truly a delightful story. Lucado’s storytelling ability is magical, and the angelic voice of Susan Boyle (playing Eleanor Hopewell) will leave you wanting more.
The acting of James Cosmo (playing Herbert Hopewell) and John Hannah (playing William Barstow) is superb.
Throughout the film, as the faith of different villagers is tested, simultaneous to David’s faith being strengthened, you’ll find yourself being assured of your own faith, and perhaps have an internal debate on whether or not you believe in modern-day miracles.
Needless to say, there may not a be a dry eye in parts, but all will find the beauty in the story.
In the beginning of the film, a young unmarried pregnant woman named Ruth (Victoria Beck) is cast out into the streets from the Haddington Electric Company.
David finds her thrown in the streets, and kindly finds her shelter. Ruth’s pregnancy is the most extreme sexual content in the film.
The film is great for the whole family. This is a movie that can create great discussion. In fact, this reviewer and her friend talked about faith the entire way home.
Regardless of specific doctrinal beliefs, this is a movie that is decent, charming, and contains a great message about faith in God and working out that faith in good works.
The Bible says in 1 John 5:14-15, “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.”
The villagers were church-going, God-fearing people, yet they trusted more in the angel’s touch of the candle to receive exactly what they asked for instead of trusting that God would provide.
Mr. and Mrs. Haddington do not know which candle the angel touched. Unselfishly, they decide to give out every candle, knowing that one person’s prayer will be answered. David believes that the villagers can help answer the requests of those who wanted to be chosen to receive the candle…and in a way, have their prayers answered through their help.
- If you know that God hears your prayers, do you find yourself only asking him for certain things, or do you ask God for things that may not seem important in the scheme of major world issues? Does God care about our seemingly insignificant requests?
- How can you assist in helping someone else’s prayers be answered “yes”?
- When God tells you to “wait,” is this a time of strengthening your faith, or does it sometimes cause you to doubt? How can we strengthen our faith during a period of waiting?
To learn more about The Christmas Candle, please visit ChristianFilmDatabase