Christingle- Sermon 185

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


This morning in our service we celebrate – two special events in the Church Calendar – Our Christingle service – and the Baptism of Christ –

In both – Jesus – is the main focus

Baptism is all about cleansing and new beginnings
In Jesus’ baptism – He is publicly revealed to be God’s son – and anointed by Him – and given the Holy Spirit –

when we fulfill our baptism vows – through faith and trust in Jesus – we too receive the Holy Spirit – and are accepted by God – as one of His family –

The Christingle reminds us – that Jesus shines – as a light in our – world – Christingle means – Christ – light – and when we look at and light our Chrsitingles – we are reminded that the light that Jesus spreads – does makes a difference – in the world and in everyone’s life

The Christingle and Jesus’ baptism – therefore teach us that being a Christian – is about being active in the world today – and so to remind us of this need to be active Chrisitians – instead of just receiving our Christingles – at this service – we are going to make them ourselves-

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

As an added bonus – Vanessa and Sheila – will also demonstrate the assembly on their flip board – and hopefully at the end – we will all have something that looks like a Chrsitingle –


point 1      

we begin with the orange which 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 –

and our world today – can also seem be pretty cold at times too – and not just because of the snow – the people can be icy – as well as the footpaths and driveways –

but Jesus can bring warmth to people’s hearts – and help them to realize – that how we treat each other – is just as important as how we treat ourselves-

God’s ways are different to the worlds – to God – money – wealth – power – are not the most important things –

Jesus teaches us that – love and caring for one another is far more important – and we should all help each other – practically and through prayer –

practically through acts of kindness – through giving and forgiving – indeed – there might be someone we know in our own streets – especially in this freezing weather – that might need an extra helping hand at this time – if they can’t get out because of the icy paths –

and through prayer – because when we ask God for help – He will provide it – whether through us – or someone else –

Prayer is an important part of being a Christian – Jesus – prayed to the Father at His Baptism – before He receives the Holy Spirit –

[Prayer is also important in receiving the Holy Spirit in our NT reading – which is the beginning of the great Commission – given by Jesus to His disciples ]-

The thing about prayer is that it requires us to do something – before receiving God’s help – a bit like knocking on the door –

knock knock -(whose there) – tank – Tank who – you’re welcome

knock knock -(whose there) – Luke – luke who? – Luke out here comes another one –

knock knock -(whose there) – orange -orange who – orange you glad its my last knock knock joke –

knock – knock – whose there – God’s there – and He answers all our prayers –


point 2       

So from our orange – our world – we now add the ribbon – around the middle – and use our cocktail sticks to secure it –

( Demonstration takes place while talking) –

Can anyone tell me what the ribbon represents? –

It stands for the blood of Jesus –

When the Jews captured – Jesus – and tried Him – and the Romans killed Him on the cross – Jesus blood was spilt – for each one of us –

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 the Jesus was pierced –

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

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

The four sticks are placed around as evenly as possible – in north, south, east and west locations – and each also stands for the four seasons – spring , summer autumn and winter –

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

point 3      

The final step in building our Chrsitingles – is to put the candle on the top – into its prepared hole – (you also need to put a small piece of foil – on the end to secure it) –

The foil should be wrapped around the bottom of the candle – 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 the creation He loves – to help the world and the people who live in it – He still loves us and wants us to come to Him –

So while we finish our Christingles and checking that everything is in the right place – lets listen to this story –

Once a long time ago – in a country far from here – there was a king and queen – who had 5 sons – the king and queen were getting on in years – and it was time for one of their sons to inherit the kingdom – and rule the land –

it wasn’t usual for the eldest son to inherent the kingdom – the king and queen had to decide – which one –

The responsibility had to be given to the one who was wisest – and who would care for the land and its people –

So the king set each of his sons – a task – he gave them a penny – which was a lot of money in those days – and told them to buy something – that would fill the great hall in the castle –

One by one each of his sons returned-

The first brought sand – with his money – which gets everywhere – and spread into every corner of the great hall – but it didn’t fill it up –

The second son returned with sacks full of hay – which was cheap and plentiful – he could get a lot of hay into the hall – but it didn’t fill all the corners and alcoves –

The third son brought flour – which he tipped – out and although it whitened everything – it didn’t fill the great hall –

The fourth son – brought sacks and sacks of sawdust – in which he felt sure he would succeed – but no – like the other sons he too was disappointed –

The fifth and last son – came back – and the other sons were surprised – because he didn’t appear to have brought anything at all – he seemed to be empty handed –

but from under his cloak he held out a candle – and proceeded to light it – and the light from the candle filled the whole of the great hall – he was the son who would inherit the kingdom –

In the same way Jesus fills the whole of our lives with the light of hope – and He calls each one of us to go out and fill the lives of others with His light –

And that’s what the work of the Children’s society does for the children living on the streets and cities – they like Christians are being light and hope to those they help –

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


Our Baptism and 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 –

The light that Jesus lit 2000 years ago still needs to burn brightly today – and He asks each one of us – to play our part in making sure it is seen by everyone around us –

we do this by being active Christians – helping others and praying for them – and making sure Jesus’ light reaches every dark corner of our world and our lives –

When Jesus sees us doing that – then for God – that really is – something to celebrate –

Prayer to finish

In the name of the Father Son and Holy Spirit