4th Sunday Advent Theme: St Thomas and Christingle

 

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Today is the 4th Sunday in Advent and we lit our forth Advent Candle. And we all know what the 24th of December is, don’t we? Christmas Eve. And the 25th? Is Christmas Day!

But I wonder how many of you know what tomorrow is called. Well it is St Thomas’ Day. Now he is the Patron Saint of old people and children. And in the old days people were allowed to collect money to buy food for their Christmas Dinner. And the Ministers used to give money to the very poor of the parish out of the common good fund.

And over the years many different ways have been used to help the poor at Christmas. In more recent times an old custom was used to help handicapped children. And that is called the Christingle Service.

And in best Blue Peter tradition here is one I made earlier. Show the Christingle! Light the candle!

This custom was revived over 30 years ago. We are not very sure of how it came about. We know that the Welsh Church did something like that many years ago. And we know that the Moravian Church had Christingle services over 200 hundred years ago. But the custom was around a long time before that.

To help us understand what is represents or stands for I am going to show you how to make one.

You need a large orange
A piece of red ribbon
A candle

4 cocktail sticks

Nuts

Fruit: cherries

Sweets

First of all you take the orange and you make a hole in the top to take the candle. The orange stands for the world. And it was a bad world and a sad world. And the Jewish people were suffering under the Romans and life was not as good as it is now, and yet our world is still sad and suffering.

Then you put the candle into the hole, and that stands for Jesus coming into this world, as the light of the world.

Read John Ch1 the first few verses. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the word was God. He was with God from the beginning. Through him all things were made, without him, nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not over come it.” John Ch1 v1 to 4

John is describing the coming of Jesus. God gave His Son for the world, and Jesus came willingly, because he was helped in the creation and he loved the world and the people in it, and he still loves us and wants to come to us.

And then we add on the red ribbon and that stands for the blood of Jesus. When the Jews captured Jesus and tried him and the Romans killed him on a cross. Jesus blood was spilled for the world. And if there had been no Christmas, then there would have been no Easter. And the red ribbon is placed around the orange to show that when Jesus died it was for the whole world. And it seemed that the Light of the world had been put out.

Then we have four cocktail sticks and the stand for the four seasons, spring, summer, autumn and winter.

And on the sticks we put fruit and nuts and sweets to show the fruits of the earth and how good the world, that Jesus created.

And it also shows the good gift of Jesus in giving his life so that we too might have real life and be part of God’s family and share in his love.

If you want the Christingle to stand you should put a bit of Plasticine or blue tack on the bottom and take a small slice of the orange to make a base and then you can put it on a bit of card with silver paper to catch the drips of the candle.

And we are almost finished, but not quite, just as the story of Jesus isn’t finished, you see God raised Jesus from the dead and so as I light the candle we find that the world did not over come, nor did evil men and so the light shines on in the darkness.

And every Christmas and every time we see a candle on a Christingle or on an advent wreathe remember that Jesus’ birth is the like the lighting of the candle. And although it was blown out later by bad men, God re-lit the candle and every Christmas it continues to shine in the darkness. And we should live our lives so that people see that we shine too, just like Jesus. So we can bring love and help and support to others who need our love and God’s love.
I hope that the story of the Cwill help you to see the Christmas story, as just a little part of a much longer story. And also how you can be part of that story. Amen.
 

 

 

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One Response

  1. […] unknown wrote an interesting post today on4th Sunday Advent Theme: St Thomas and Christingle « we need boo …Here’s a quick excerptAnd every Christmas and every time we see a candle on a Christingle or on an advent wreathe remember that Jesus’ birth is the like the lighting of the candle. And although it was blown out later by bad men, God re-lit the candle and … […]

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