Summary: Christingle and Jesus the Light of the World
Stiffkey 22-12- 2002
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: Please can I give four of you a handkerchief?
Please don’t blow you nose on it – because I want it back at the end.
Question: Any one remember from last year what Christingle means?
Christingle actually means ‘Christ - Light’ and so Christingle celebrates the light of Jesus coming into the world
However 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 Waterville, 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?
1. The Orange stands for the world, with all its sin and suffering.
We have seen a lot of that on television recently – with the suicide bombs in Israel and talk about war with Iraq. It’s such a shame because this world could be a really nice place to live in. But evil men do evil things.
2. The Candle stands for Jesus coming into this world, as the light of the world.
We read in John Chapter 8 where 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
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.
And so I’d like to remind you to think about this every time you see a candle on a Christingle or on an advent wreath.
And we should live our lives so that people see that we shine too, just like Jesus.
We too can bring love, help and support to others who need our love and God’s love.
3. The four cocktail sticks stand for the four seasons, spring, summer, autumn and winter. And 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 must bear good fruit in all seasons of the year.
As St. Paul reminds us what the fruit of God’s Spirit in our lives is
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law (Gal 6:22)
4 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.
And by dying he has enabled everyone to become sons and daughters of God. To be part of God’s family.
Now back to the question I asked at the beginning of the talk – why did you come to church?
One of the important reasons that Christians go to church is that we are part of the family of God.
Illusion pt 2:
Let’s assume that this little red bag is the church and the little handkerchiefs represent us.
Question: Can I ask the people who have handkerchiefs to come and put them back in?
So everyone is back in church!!
Question: Can I ask a mum – they always do as they are told don’t they? – to take just the red handkerchief out? (Mum pulls out four handkerchiefs knotted together)
You see we are no longer simply individuals.
If we are part of God’s family, we are joined together in Him to one another. Just like the handerkerchiefs.