Here’s a copy of the talk I did today at our two all-age Christingle services:
Take a look at the screens:
Christmas in a Nutshell is that God showed up in our neighbourhood so we would know who the eternal God is and what he’s really like.
But what does that mean today, I wonder why you came to church today? Perhaps your parents told you to or perhaps your children told you to come
Question: Who came last year?
Question: Did you like it?
Question: Why did you come to church today?
- Like the singing
- Be with your friends
Well I came – because it’s my job!!! But I also came because of Jesus, the same Jesus who said: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life (Jn 8:12)
Question: Anyone remember from last year what Christingle means?
Christingle actually means ‘Christ – Light’ and so Christingle celebrates the light of Jesus coming into the world. In John’s Gospel chapter 1 Jesus is described as the “light of men”: “The Light shines in darkness but the darkness has not overcome it” (Jn 1:5).
No one is really sure how the Christingle service came into being. The earliest record of a Christingle service was in 1747 in a Moravian church in Marienborn, Germany. The Moravian bishop, John de Watteville, gave each child a lighted candle tied round with a red ribbon as a way of illustrating the great love Jesus has for us all.
Question: Can I ask someone to bring me a Christingle?
The Orange stands for the world, with all its sin and suffering. We have seen a lot of that on television recently – with shootings in the USA, wars in Democratic Republic of Congo and Afghanistan. It’s such a shame because this world could be a really nice place to live in. But evil people do evil things.
The Candle stands for Jesus coming into this world, as the light of the world. As we heard earlier, Jesus said: “I am the Light of the World. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12)
Jesus’ birth, which we celebrate at Christmas is the like the lighting of the candle.
LIGHT THE CANDLE
The red ribbon stands for the blood of Jesus.
Jesus, the little baby whose birthday we celebrate at Christmas – was killed on a cross when he was only 33 years old.
He died so that we could become part of God’s family. Jesus blood was spilled to take away the evil of the world – to wash us and makes us whiter than snow.
The red ribbon is placed around the orange to show that – when Jesus died – it was for the whole world. When evil men killed Jesus – an act, which we remember on Good Friday – they thought that they had put out the light of the world for good.
BLOW OUT THE CANDLE ON THE CHRISTINGLE
And it seemed for three days that the Light of the world had been put out.
RELIGHT THE CHRISTINGLE CANDLE
However God relit it, when he raised Jesus from the dead and every Christmas we are reminded that Jesus continues to shine in the darkness.
The four cocktail sticks stand for the four seasons, spring, summer, autumn and winter. On the sticks there are fruit, nuts and sweets to show the good fruits in the earth.
The fruit also reminds us if we are to follow Jesus, we too should produce good fruit. As St. Paul reminds us the fruit of God’s spirit in our lives is: “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Gal 6:22)
I’d like to leave you with a final thought. When people killed Jesus, they thought that they had put out the light of the world for good. However God relit it, when he raised Jesus from the dead. And so I’d like to encourage you to think about this every time you see a candle on a Christingle or on an advent wreath.
Jesus’ birth is the like the lighting of the candle. And although it was blown out later by bad men, God re-lit the candle and it continues to shine in the darkness. And we should live our lives so that people see that we shine too, as the Candle – just like Jesus. For we too need to bring love, help and support to others who need our love and God’s love.
As we saw in the video when we remember the birth of Jesus the most amazing fact is that it is God with us. God has come down from heaven, and walked with us, lived with us, worked with us in our neighbourhood, in our community.