Is it a hoax, a random coincidence, mere wishful thinking, or is the Haddington candle a genuine miracle from God? This is the crux of Max Lucado's holiday story The Christmas Candle.
In an opening flashback to Christmas of 1664, a voiceless creature (an angel?) makes a nocturnal visit to the home and candle making shop of the Haddingtons and puts a blessing on one particular candle. The next day, this couple gives the special candle to a woman they meet at church who is in dire straits. Lo and behold, within a day that poor woman inherits a prosperous farm and gains a marvelous income. And so begins the legacy of the candle that can cause miracles.
Thereafter, once every 25 years the mysterious night visitor comes and blesses one candle in the shop of the Haddingtons' descendents. When that candle is given away, the recipient offers prayers to God, and those prayers are miraculously granted...or are they, really?
By 1864 when the little village of Gladstone, England gets a new parson for the first time in 50 years, speculation arises as to the validity of the claims of the Haddington candles. The young reverend has an Oxford degree and is not inclined to fall in line with belief in old fables and rural legends. In fact, he breaks all tradition by refusing to preach about the candle at Christmas service, despite the fact that this is the very year the miracle is scheduled to take place again.
However, the visage does come and it does bless another Haddington candle. But poor old clumsy Edward Haddington accidentally knocks over a basket of candles and no long can be sure which candle is the genuinely blessed candle. Villages assail the Haddingtons, begging to receive the blessed candle as a cure-all for their problems with drunken husbands, failed crops, unpaid rent, poor eyesight, and children at sea. Unable to resist the villagers, Edward and his wife Bea give a candle to all of them, knowing that one will be blessed but many others will be disappointed.
To their amazement, on Christmas Eve each villager reports that his or her prayers have been answered. Thus, it would seem that the candles have no real power, only the heartfelt prayers of believers.
But this is Max Lucado, so there is still one big surprise yet to come in the end. It will leave you, the reader, believing in Christmas miracles. – Dr. Dennis E. Hensley, Christian Book Previews.com
Journey back to a simpler time, to a small English village where nothing out of the ordinary ever happens. Except at Christmastime.
When a mysterious angel suddenly appears in a lowly candlemaker's shop, the holy and the human collide in a way that only God could imagine.
Glowing bright with a timeless message, The Christmas Candle will warm your heart with a surprising reminder of God's bountiful love