The Christingle talk works over an entire service. We don’t have a traditional sermon for this event. The kids stay in and ‘build’ the Christingle with their parents. I pop up on four occasions, in between carols, and make some extended comments along these lines. I tend to elaborate as we go along. As you might imagine some of those unscripted comments add to the presentation. And most don’t!
This afternoon we’re going to make a Christingle. There should be a pack for each child.
A Christingle works as a reminder. There are lots of different ways that you can remind yourself of things. You can put a reminder on your phone so that it makes a noise or you could tie a knot in your hanky. A Christingle helps us remember things about Jesus, which makes sense because Christmas is all about him and we want to remember him especially at this time of year.
Instruction: There’s not much to do at this point so don’t worry. You ought to have an orange with a hole in it.
Reminder: The orange reminds us that God made the world. I could have given everyone something like this big inflatable world. But we’d end up with a plastic mess if we tried to put a hole in it. So let’s go with the orange for now!
A great verse to help us understand that is Revelation 4:11
“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”
The orange reminds us that God made the world. He’s our creator. In fact, God didn’t just make us. He made everything. There’s nothing in the whole wide world that God didn’t make. And because of that he deserves all the praise and all the glory for doing such a brilliant job.
This is a model. It’s a house. It’s Grandma’s House from Little Red Riding Hood. My daughter made it at school. She is its creator. I think it’s terrific. There’s real attention to detail. And so she deserves all the praise for a brilliant model. It would be wrong to praise either of her brothers when they had nothing to do with it.
In the same way God deserves all our praise for making the world. The Christingle reminds us of that.
Instruction: Place the foil square over the whole in the orange and then push the candle into it.
Reminder: The light reminds us that Jesus is the light of the world
A great verse to help us understand that is John 8:12
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Jesus said he was the light of the world. Let’s think about what that means. When it’s dark we’re not quite sure what’s going on, are we? We can’t see anything and nothing makes sense. Jesus came into a dark world and lit it up with his presence. Without him the world would be a very confused place. We wouldn’t know what to believe about God and life if it wasn’t for him.
I like to read in bed. It’s a habit I picked up when I was young and I used to read books under the duvet. I don’t do that any more but I still like to read. But Rosslyn prefers to go to sleep and she wants the light out. And so I have to wear a head torch to see my book. If I don’t, then I can’t see anything and nothing makes sense.
In the same way Jesus helps us see what’s really there. The Christingle reminds us of that.
Instruction: Wrap the ribbon around the orange and pin it in place.
Reminder: The ribbon reminds us of Jesus’ blood which was shed on the cross.
A great verse to help us understand that is 1 Peter 3:18
For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.
You’d think that Jesus’ death would be a very sad thing to remember. But it’s actually the most important thing to remember about Jesus. Thinking about Jesus without thinking about the cross is like thinking about ‘Strictly’ without Dancing or High School Musical without singing.
When Jesus died on the cross he took our place. He swapped places with us. And so he took on himself the punishment that should have come to us. And so God punished Jesus when he should have punished us for the wrong things that we say, think and do. Isn’t that wonderful? Has someone ever done that for you before? If you’ve got a brother or a sister you;re probably used to getting the blame for something that you didn’t do. That’s not very nice, is it? But imagine if you’d done something wrong and they took the blame so that you didn’t get into trouble. That’d be amazing wouldn’t it? That’s what Jesus did on the cross. He got the blame for sin, even though he didn’t do it.
Jesus took our place. It’s not very nice to know that God is going to punish us is it? It’s so much better to know that Jesus has taken that punishment for us. The Christingle reminds us of that.
Instruction: Push the fruit and sweets onto the four cocktail sticks and then push the cocktail sticks into the orange. Be careful not to push the sharp bits into yourself, or anyone else!
Reminder: The fruit reminds us that all the way through the four seasons of the year God is very good to us.
A great verse to help us understand that is John 10:10
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Jesus said he came to give us the best life possible. He said that he came so that every single one of us here might have a full and complete life. Isn’t that amazing?
All of us here have a Mummy or a Daddy. If they’re good Mummies and Daddies then they’ll do whatever they can to make sure that you have a full and complete life. So yesterday the easiest thing to do might have been to stay in and do absolutely nothing. I could have read the newspaper, sat by the fire and had a nice glass of mulled wine.
Instead we went sledging on Streatham Common. And I got hot and sweaty pulling them up the hill and pushing them down the slope. I did that because I love my kids and I want them to have a full life.
In the same way, Jesus said that he came to give us a full and wonderful life. He loves us so much that he wants what’s best for us. The Christingle reminds us of that.
So there you go. We’re going to light those in a minute and sing our last carol. But before we do let’s see how much we’ve learnt.
What should the orange remind us of?
What should the candle remind us of?
What should the ribbon remind us of?
What should the fruit and sweets remind us of?