It’s not easy to believe
Everyone’s hope in miracles seems to grow at Christmas time, as we are infused with “holiday spirit.” But for many people who’ve been through a recent tragedy or crisis of faith, they may no longer believe for their Christmas miracle. If you find yourself in that condition this holiday season, you’ll be encouraged to meet Rev. David Richmond, a pastor who himself is having a crisis of faith.
David is joined in his doubts by the lovely and intelligent Emily Barstow, tied to what she believes is an outdated fairy tale by her concern for a sick parent. Does hope for an ill friend or loved one keep your meager faith alive, or are you trying to disguise your own cynicism to be a comfort to them?
We can all learn a lesson about hope from the residents of Gladbury, England, circa 1890s. Sometimes faith in tradition and legends of a bygone era can be just what you need to drown out the voices of modern cynicism. As the village candle makers, Edward and Bea Haddington encourage everyone to keep praying for their miracles.
Even the most faithful church warden’s wife sees her prayers for her husband’s precarious health go unanswered. Will her grief prevent her from joining in the Christmas celebrations, as it does so many every year? Or will she learn that even a flicker of faith is enough to sustain one through the hard times?
Sometimes simple stubbornness and determination – a refusal to give into the hopelessness – will save the day. Lady Camden is convinced that all her village needs is to see one miracle to restore its faith. If sheer force of will can make it happen, then this miracle is guaranteed!
While Rev. Richmond has lost his faith in miracles, he still believes wholeheartedly in simple human kindness and God’s love shared through one another. Perhaps we can hold onto our faith as we seek to “be the miracle” for someone else this Christmas.
It’s often the faith of a child that leads the way for life-hardened adults to once again embrace hope and believe for a miracle. While Charlie can’t talk, his cheerfulness and positive outlook speak of a big enough hope to encourage everyone around him.
It is faith and hope that are central to this tale, taken from The Christmas Candle, a story written by Max Lucado several years ago as a parable to encourage those struggling with doubt. Now it’s been made into a film starring Hans Matheson, Samantha Barks and the incredible Susan Boyle. The Christmas Candle is a movie that retells the story of the holy and the human colliding, as they did that first Christmas 2,000 years ago, reminding us of God’s great love despite our cynicism and lack of faith.
Faith is restored to the most cynical heart in the village of Gladbury as a prayer of desperation reminds the doubting minister that he hasn’t lost all hope in God. See your hope restored as you join with Rev. Richmond’s parishioners as they light their candles and pray and see miracles happen – both human and angel-inspired – just in time for Christmas.