(Note for US audiences: crisps are the things that you call chips. Sorry, the pun won’t work your side of the pond.)
Need something crisp and fresh for your Christingle? Something with a bit of bite? Then look no further than my lunch! Great for your Collective Worship / All Age / Messy Church / Crib Service, and a ready made snack afterwards.
You will need:
- Shopping bag
- Normal Christingle (orange, red tape, cocktail sticks with sweets, candle)
- Lighter for candle
- Huge orange t-shirt (5XL pref)
- Red scarf, fabric or wide belt
- 4 pencils (possibly the large novelty ones)
- Packet of crisps
- Bottle of water or juice box
- 3 other lunch items (eg sandwich, banana, soft chocolate bar such as Snickers)
- 2 small torches/flashlights (small enough for a child to hold between teeth) or head band torches
The lunch items need to be impaled on the pencils, so make sure that the sandwich does not have a ‘fall out’ filling. Chocolate spread works well. You may wish to poke a hole in the crisp packet ahead of time.
Hello everyone, and welcome to our Christingle Service.
In my bag I have got a very lovely Christingle to show you [look in bag] …
Oh, umm … [rummage in bag] …
I’m sure it’s in here somewhere … [delve right to bottom of bag] …
Ahhh, errr … [looking sheepish]
I’m very sorry. I think I must have left my Christingle at home. I’m not sure what to do now.
Do any of you happen to have a Christingle? Got one in your pocket? No?
Could you check, just in case? No? OK. Hmmmn …
Oh! I know! I’ve just been shopping for my lunch, so although I don’t have a Christingle in my bag, I do have some other things. I can probably make a Christingle out of these. Let’s see.
Here’s my lunch. [get items out] I have some crisps, a sandwich, a banana and a drink [leave chocolate bar in bag]
I think we could use these. But first we need an orange. Hmmn. I’ve got a banana. It doesn’t look much like an orange, does it?
[look in bag] What do I have in here …
Ah! [T-shirt] I think this will work if you can help me. Would a couple of you like to help? Come on up here. [two child volunteers stand back-to-back, put T-shirt over both children, with arms through sleeves]
There, that’s great! What else do I have in here. [scarf] Ah yes, that works well [tie scarf around waists of children]
What else do we need? [pencils] Ah yes, I always carry spare pencils around. You can have one for each hand. That’s great, hold them up high.
Now we need things to have on the pencils. My lunch with be great for that.
[take each pencil in turn and impale an item of lunch, make a big show of the impaling]
First, we can have the crisps on our CRISP-tingle, ha ha, CRISP-tingle, get it? Yes? No, OK. [impale crisps and give pencil back]
Now the sandwich [impale sandwich], and the banana [impale banana], and finally the … [make as if to stab the juice box]
Ok, maybe not. [impale chocolate bar] Maybe this would be better.
There. That’s looking great. All we need now is the candle on top. [turn on torches, strap head torches on heads or have children hold hand torches in their teeth]
There! Isn’t that brilliant! And my bag is all empty now [look in bag and bring out Christingle] – oh, except for this, umm, Christingle.
Oh, I’m sorry, it was there all the time. I don’t know why I didn’t see it.
Here we can have our orange, which is round like the wonderful world that God has made.
Here are the four sticks, which remind us of the four seasons; Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter that mark the passing of time, and the four directions; North, South, East and West, and God’s love that reaches all through time and to every corner of the world.
On the sticks are good things to eat. These remind us of how God provides everything we need, and loves to give us good things.
But around the orange is a red band. This is because the wonderful world that God made is broken. It is broken because we do wrong stuff. We all do wrong stuff, everyone of us. That’s why the band goes all around the world.
The Bible calls that wrong stuff ‘sin’, and says it is like a red stain, like a marker pen that won’t wash out. It spoils God’s wonderful world and it spoils us.
But the Bible also says that God solved the problem of sin and brokenness by sending Jesus. Jesus is like a light in the darkness [light candle]. He’s like the best washing powder that can wash away the stain of sin and make us clean and fresh again.
Christians believe that Jesus was born as a baby at Christmas and lived with us to show us what God is like. Then, at Easter, he died to mend our brokenness and came back to life to give us a fresh start.
The Christingle is the story of you and me, and how Jesus came to be our light, The Light of the World.
Happy CRISP-tingle, everyone!