Christingle- Sermon 170

13th February 2011 Off By Derek Buckthorpe

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


Christingles – most of know what they look like –
(hold one up) – an orange with a candle and other bits stuck in it –

and a lot of us might know what each of the bits mean –

but do we know why we have Christingles and what’s important about them?

(ask the children what they think – hands up those who think its the sweets?)

Well – the name Christingle – means Christ – light –

So in our Christingles- both light and Jesus Christ come together

and what we are going to do – is look at what we understand about Jesus and light – and see whether it helps us answer this question


point 1       Jesus Christ

If we think about what was said about God and Jesus in our readings – then according to the first reading – one word says it all – Can anyone remember what it was? – ‘love’

‘God is love’ – ‘love comes from God ‘-

God’s only wish is to bless us – to show us kindness – and fill our lives with good things – (like the sweets on our Christingles) –

He wants to provide us with the sort of love that we know and experience in a strong loving family

like a Father (parent) and Son – or Father (parent) and daughter – He wants us to live as if we are His children – (and that includes the adults too) –

and because He loves everybody – He wants us all to share that love with Him and with those around us –

But because we sometimes find it difficult to believe this – and to accept His love – He sent His own Son Jesus – to live and die in our world – to show us – what it means to live as one of His children – in the words of our reading – so we might live through Him –

Jesus promises – that if we are willing to follow His ways – His love for us is so strong – that He will accept us into His family – no matter what we have done –

and what makes Jesus – so special – is that He goes on helping – and accepting us today – through the Holy Spirit – loving us – and refusing to let us go – wanting to help each one of us become part of His family – part of His Church

So Jesus – as well as providing Gods love – also provides us with God’s teaching – which is another way in which He brings light into the world


point 2       Light

In our second reading – we are told that Jesus heals a blind man – He made it so that a blind man could see –

Blindness – is something we all hope we never have to experience – it must be very difficult to live in a state of constant darkness – where there are no lights at all –

(can you imagine this church without any lights?)

Lights are important – to us – when its dark – we need them to see where we are going –

Most of our cities are lit up – so are a lot of our streets and motorways –

lights help us on our journey – they also help us – read – and to learn when its dark –

Lights are also used as a warning – to tell us when we are heading in the wrong direction

In the nineteenth century (that’s the 1800’s) – before radar was invented – a captain of a battle ship – was out on patrol – and one night – and he saw a light on the horizon

he realise his ship was on a collision course – so he flashed a signal – we are on a collision course – change your direction!

Back came the message – advise that you change course by 20 degrees-

What! – thought the captain – who does he think he is talking to – He flashed the message back – I am the captain in the Royal Navy – you change course!!

but the response came back – I am a seaman second class – you still better change course by 20 degrees –

By this time the captain had really flipped his cap – ‘I am a battleship- I won’t change course – I’m ordering you to change course-

the reply came back – I am a lighthouse – Be my guest-

Jesus is a like lighthouse in the world – He shows us where it is safe to go – and where it is dangerous to go –

and sometimes – like the captain – we don’t realise how far we’ ve strayed-

Jesus never wrote a book – never held office – didn’t travel more than 200 miles from his home town – but has had the greatest influence that any one has had on this planet –

Jesus did what was right – He told the truth – He taught us that our sins – our wrongdoings – separate us from God – and He came to earth to bridge the gap that our sins have caused –

He died on the cross – so that our sins can be forgiven so that when we recognise our mistakes – we will have another chance – to put them right – and to do things differently – this time with His help –

Jesus brings light into our world – through His love – through His teaching – through His – healing – and through His direction – back to Go

point 3       The Chrsitingle-

So what does all this mean for our Christingles –

Well in – 2008 – the Children’s Society which introduced Christingles – to the Church of England – celebrated 40 years of shining Christ’s – light in the darkness –

The Children’s society helps a lot of children in trouble – and that’s one of the reasons why our gift in the Children’s Society envelops is so very important –

The Children’s Society believes that every child deserves a good childhood – and our gifts will go to help those children – who are most at risk – and cannot find the help and support they need –

The Christingle is made up of four different parts –

(ask the children if they know what the different parts mean) – we’ve just sung about it so you might find the answer from the last hymn –

1)a lighted candle – which represents – Jesus, (the Light of the World)

2)an orange – which represents the world
(seems to be the right shape)

3)a red ribbon (or tape) – which represents -the blood or the love of Christ – when He died for us on the cross-

4)and four cocktail sticks each with dried fruit or sweets – to signify the four seasons and the good things – or fruits that grow on the earth.

Our Christingles are given to us to remind us about the many needs of our world – especially the children – and the many ways in which Jesus lights up our lives – and that He is always ready to welcome us into His family –


Accepting Jesus’ love is like receiving your sight all over again – through the eyes of Jesus everything has a new beginning – and we have a chance to look at our world again – as God wants it to be –

Jesus is the light of the world –
by what He taught
by the example He gave us
by what He has done for us bringing us back to God –

and – when He lights up our lives – like this candle – (light the candle) – we too – will be able to shine brightly – and help to bring other people to God – just as He does

Prayer to finish

In the name of the Father Son and Holy Spirit