Christingle 2008

If we leave the word Christ out of CHRISTMAS, all we’re left with is the word ‘mas’ or should I say a mess!

Without the Light of Christ, the world would be a chaotic, confusing mess.

When I was a child, we went as a family, on holiday, to visit an underground cave near Torquay. It was a very creepy cave, full of dark shadows and strange rocks, which resembled disfigured human shapes.

It was there that I first saw stalactites and stalagmites, like huge rock icicles pointing upwards as well as down. It was there that I first sensed fear, for the guide who was leading our group, was quick to warn us to stay on the path behind him; for beyond the ropes, which bordered the path, lay ‘chasms’, which were very deep. To prove his point he threw a pebble over into a crack in the surface of the rock not far away. It seemed like ages before that pebble hit the ground, which lay hundreds of metres below.

But then he asked us if we knew what ‘real darkness’ was. .. and to demonstrate this he told us that he was going to turn off the lights.

I remember, as if it were yesterday, the panic that rose up inside me when the lights suddenly went off.

I told myself that if I moved at all, I would end up falling over the edge like that pebble!

The inky blackness seemed to last forever!

I was so relieved when he put the lights back on. Everything was OK! We could see again, and everyone was smiling. We all got out safely.

It is especially at Christingle Services we are reminded of Jesus’ words.

‘I am the Light of the World. He who follows me will never walk in darkness, but have the light of life!’

How very dark our world would have been had he not entered into it.

How very warm and safe and comforting to know his presence.

Jesus came as a guiding light to lead us on our journey through life. By following the example he has set, he leads us on our way safely!

He also comforts us in our sorrows; he is with us in our pain.

Jesus came as a revealing light; he alone knows everything about us in perfect detail, and those dark shadows in our lives must go, when we invite him into our lives.

Jesus came as a light to the darkness of our world, and darkness simply lost its power! He brought life and light and joy. He is the one true light that can never ever be extinguished. Any kind of darkness can never ever consume it.

When we receive the light of Christingle today,

We look at this small orange and remember the world and all its troubles;

We look at all these fruits and remember the gifts God gives us to help make the world a better place to live in.

We look at the red ribbon, which represents the blood of Jesus, which has set us free from all our sins; and we remember his sacrifice for us all.

But most important of all we look at the candle, which will soon be lit, and we place the Lord Jesus Christ at the very centre of our lives.

As each candle is lit, let us form a prayer in our minds…

something like this…

let us pray.

Lord Jesus, Light of the World.

Let your pure light be kindled afresh in me this day,

And let it light up every part of me.

Cleanse me and renew me,

and show me how to reflect you to everyone I meet.

With your light shining more brightly within me,

may I play my part in dispelling all darkness.

for your name’s sake.