Our service began with children, carrying homemade Christingles. The Christingles were made from oranges– round like the world we live in– to remind us of the world which God created and loves. Inserted into the orange was a candle, representing Jesus, the light of the world who calls us, too, to shine as light in the darkness. There was a red ribbon wrapped around the orange as a reminder of the blood of Jesus which he shed for the sins of the world. Just as the ribbon is wrapped around the orange, so Jesus’ love reaches all around the world. Also attached to the oranges were four toothpicks holding fruit and candy. These represented the four seasons of the year during which God provides for all of our needs.
The children, carrying Christingles, offered simple prayers and lit their candles from the Christ candle. After the prayers were finished the children went and helped light the candles of those gathered in worship.
The children then placed their Christingles into the manger and we listened once again to the familiar story of Christmas. As we listened we couldn’t help but be in awe of the manger as it glowed with light. A great reminder of how the world was so dark that God could hardly be seen. Then, God sent Jesus, who made a way for us to see God.
It was so nice to hear the Christmas story after Christmas. So often we celebrate Christmas and then move on. As Christians, the Christmas story is a story that needs to be celebrated often. Our challenge is to share the light of the manger by letting our light shine. What a gift we have been given! As we move forward into this week, we do so with the prayer that God will use us to bring light to others.
God our Father, you give light to this world so that it shines with your glory; lead us to see the beauty of your heavenly glory.
Lord Jesus Christ, light of the world, make our lives pure so that we may shine with your light in this world for you.
Holy Spirit, moving across the face of the earth, breathing new life and shedding new light; renew us as we shine with the light of Christ in the world.