Christingle Service – Sermon 208

9th January 2016 0 By Derek Buckthorpe

Christingle Service

10.00am Morning service – SP

4th December 2011

Bible References :

  • Add Text Link Here
  • Add Text Link Here
  • Add Text Link Here

Prayer to start

May the words of my lips and the thoughts of our hearts be graciously received for the Glory and Honour of our Lord Jesus Christ

 

AMEN

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Imagine being sound asleep

dreaming a nice dream –

 

when suddenly the door bursts open – and a bright light shines full in your face –

 

A voice breaking in to your dream says – ‘wake up’ – ‘get up’ – you’ll be late!

 

And then without more ado – the speaker splashes cold water – all over your face – to make the point

 

‘Come on’ says the voice ‘ Its time to stop dreaming – its time to face the most important day of your life’

 

Point 1        John the Baptist

 

That’s what the opening words of Mark’s Gospel – are all about – telling us all to wake up and get going

 

John the Baptist  – was sent by God – to be like  a clanging alarm clock – bursting in on a surprised Jewish nation –

 

Shouting across their dreams – and splashing cold water all over them –

 

many had been looking for a sign – but they didn’t expected it in a loud voice and a cold shower –

 

John was proclaiming – a baptism of repentance – for the forgiveness of sins – encouraging people to confess their sins and be washed clean –

 

A baptism he would perform in the river Jordan –

 

But the bright light that he was shining in their faces wasn’t his own – it was the light of someone more important – to come

 

A light that most of them knew about – but didn’t recognise –

 

Every year at Passover time – people would recite the story of the Exodus from Egypt –

 

telling over and over again how God rescued Israel from the Pharaoh

 

Bringing them through the Red sea – where the water parted before them – over the wilderness which took a whole generation – and across the Jordan – to their promised Land.

 

Along with the creation story – it was one of the most important stories in the OT –

 

It was the sort of story – you dream about being involved in –

 

They’d thought they’d left sin behind in Egypt – but John knew they were immersed in it again –

 

and it was time they looked in a different direction –  to get out of it –

 

It was time to wake up to God’s new activity – to God’s new light –  Jesus – who was sent to show God’s love and goodness – and bring forgiveness and salvation to all –

 

As the OT reading reminds us – ‘A light that would feed His flock – and comfort – and gather them into His arms’

 

and it was John’s job to get the people ready to meet Him –

 

Meeting Jesus –  is the most important thin we can ever do – it can change our lives – transform our hearts – and make us into the people that God wants us to be  –

 

Point 2        Christingles

 

Jesus is our Christ-light- He can make us shine  – like a light in the world

 

He can help us shine far and wide –

 

Which brings us on to our Christingles –

 

Christingle stands for  ‘Christ light’ – and in order to make our Christingles shine later in the service we will need to make them up – now

 

so – everyone should have had a bag given to them when they came in  (hold it up) – I’ll take you through the steps –  – and if parents can also help the children –

 

So as we learned earlier from our sketch – we need to start with an Orange (hold it up)

 

1) Orange

 

The orange  – represents the world we live in – (it should have a hole in the top)

 

The world in Jesus’ time had many problems- wars –  violence – ill treatment of the poor – greed of leaders – racial prejudice  – not too different to today’s if we think about it –

 

It can be a cold wet place at times – and not just because of the weather –

 

but with Jesus – we can change all that – and we can start by treating each other – as  we treat ourselves-

 

Jesus teaches us that  – love and caring for one another is far more important  – than money –  wealth –  and power  – and we should all help each other – when we can –  and we should pray for each other –

 

  1. b) ribbon and sticks/sweets

 

Next – we have to  put our ribbon around the middle –  and use our cocktail sticks to secure it –

 

(Demonstration takes place while talking) –

 

As Jessica reminded us – the ribbon stands for Jesus’ blood – shed for us

 

When the Jews captured – Jesus – and put Him on trial  Him  –  they persuaded the Romans to crucify  Him on the cross –  but Jesus’ death did not benefit the Romans or the Jews –

It was God’s plan that it served as a sacrifice for human sin – to enable forgiveness and salvation to be brought to all –

 

The red ribbon is placed around the middle of the orange – to show that when Jesus died  –  it was for the whole world  –

 

we use four sharp  pointed cocktail sticks – to secure the ribbon to remind us – that Jesus was pierced – before He died –

 

The four sticks are placed around as evenly as possible  –  in north, south, east and west directions  –  and each also stands for the four seasons –  spring , summer autumn and winter – to show that there is nowhere that His love cannot reach –

 

On the sticks we put fruit – and sweets – to represent the goodness of the earth – and the richness of the animals and birds – everything that God has provided for us –

 

The sweets also remind us of the good gift of Jesus – in giving His life  – so that we – can have everlasting life –  and there should be at least twelve – three per stick  –  to remind us of the twelve disciples-

 

when putting these on – mums and dads might need to help as the cocktail sticks are very sharp  – and if possible we should leave one sweet at the end of each stick to hide the sharp point –

 

Point 3        The Light

 

The final step in building our Christingle – is to put the candle on the top – into its prepared hole –

 

The foil around the bottom is used – to catch any drips of candle wax when it is lit –

 

The candle represents – Jesus – the light of the world –

 

God willingly gave Jesus to help His creation – to help the world and the people who live in it –

 

So that Jesus’ love can shine light into the darkness of the world – offering joy – peace – love – hope- and life to all

 

Jesus came as a child and a man at the time of John the Baptist – to show us God’s love  – and he still comes to us – today – through the Holy Spirit offering a new light and a new life – for us all –

 

Our Christingles  -too –  speak of the work of the Children’s Society in spreading Jesus’ love and light to children who need our help and support –

 

and our gift in the Children’s Society envelop is  important –  in helping them carry out their work –

 

Like the light from a candle – It shows the love and goodness – we want to give – to children whose lives have been darkened by our world  – and need to be brought into the light –

 

Conclusions

 

John the Baptist  – came to wake us up – to God’s wishes – to prepare the way – for Jesus  – and His message of light and salvation

 

He shouted it out from the wilderness  – encouraging everyone to make a new start

 

He brought us baptism as a sign of repentance and being washed clean by Jesus  –

 

It took a loud voice and a splashing of water to make the Jews see the light

 

What will it take to wake us up to a new beginning with Jesus Christ?

 

Closing prayer

 

AMEN