This is a rerun of a post I wrote last year at this time, but I feel it deserves a second glance. It’s one of the most inspirational stories I seen lately about the true meaning of Christmas.
I discovered a sweet Christmas movie last week which was released in 2013. Since it’s a Max Lucado production, I thought it worth the watch. This lovely tale of Christmas tradition, superstition, Advent and light intermingled with the struggles of a new pastor who has been going through the death of his wife and child, was filled with many wonderful messages of hope.
The town was steeped in tradition. In fact a Christmas candle was the source of an annual ritual. Many years before, the candle maker was witness to a Christmas angel who appeared in his shop and lit one of the candles. That candle would allow whoever lit it and prayed to receive a miracle in their lives. The story continued for years until it became part of the Christmas season that everyone looked forward to.
In this particular year, the Christmas angel appeared again and chose a candle to light. The candlemaker and his wife witnessed this and in their eagerness to hang tightly to the miracle candle, all of them fell to the floor. The one containing the “miracle” slipped under a piece of furniture and remained undiscovered until it was needed.
The candlemaker and his wife didn’t know what to do. So they distributed candles to all those who were in need a miracle that year, with the stipulation that they not tell anyone that they had received the special candle. Requests for the candle were placed at the candle shop.
The new pastor tried to put a stop to this tradition, because it took away from the true meaning of Christmas – the true Light of the World, Jesus. He asked the candlemaker for a chance to see the requests made by the townspeople and proceeded to try and fill their needs on his own, by doing good deeds for their benefit. His selfless act did not go unnoticed, but that wasn’t really the point of the story.
The beauty of this tale was that the candle wasn’t the necessary element for a miracle. In fact, the act of praying was. Remember that the tradition arose when the angel gave the instruction to light the candle and pray. In the end, many miracles occurred.
The story got me to thinking about the many miracles that have occurred in my own life. They didn’t happen because I deserved them. They didn’t arrive in the form of monetary or physical means. Most of them were imprinted on my heart as a memory of what a great God I have in times of want, need, hopelessness, fear and especially during this most special time of the year.
Miracles are gifts from God. They are a result of our prayers, yes, but they also are undeserved gifts. God uses miracles to draw us closer to Him – to inspire us, encourage us and help us and through them to help others.
The most significant miracle at Christmas time, was God’s gift to the world of His own precious Son – conceived in the womb of a virgin, by the Holy Spirit – born a man, yet also God – an ordinary baby who would become the Messiah promised by the ancient prophets. That little baby would grow up and become the hope of the world. Because of Him and the light He brought with Him, we can approach God, the Father with confidence that our sins have been forgiven. That’s the best miracle of all.