Kris Lawrence reflects on the meaning of Christingle during a pandemic.
People often ask me why we have a Christingle service now; most people celebrate Christingle as part of the Christmas season. But to me this is the perfect time of year to celebrate.
Christmas is always such a busy time and I worry that the symbolism can be lost in the busyness and the Christingle be reduced to it’s raw elements of orange, ribbon and sweets. But the Christingle means so much more than that. At the end of January/start of February we can take time to be more reflective and ponder the symbolism further – so Candlemas will always be to me the right time to celebrate the Christingle.
And this year at St George’s on January 30, we considered the Christingle in the light of the pandemic.
We considered how lockdowns had an amazing effect on the environment; how the world (represented by the orange) seemed to be given a chance to take a deep breath and restore itself a little. We considered what parts of the natural world we would want to protect from harm and what we could do to help God’s wonderfully creative world.
We thought about how, during lockdown, God’s love (represented by the red ribbon) and the companionship of friends and relations was cherished and appreciate more than ever. We considered those that might need our love and companionship; those that we may have lost contact with over the past couple of years; those that needed God’s loving touch.
We thought about how, during lockdown, a nature of generosity and sharing of our God given gifts (represented by the fruits and sweets) was embraced. We considered how sharing banks and food banks being supported more than ever to help people through the dark days. And we considered what gifts we have that we can use to do God’s work on earth.
We considered how, during lockdown, the dark days so many have suffered, could be lightened by the light of Christ (represented by the candle) and how we are called to share that light in the world (and the tin foil of course represents us reflecting the light of Christ).
We were encouraged not to eat our Christingle before the service had ended, but to take it home, relight the candle and say a prayer.
Light and hope of the World,
as we think about the meaning of Christingle and about your great love for us
help us to take your light out into the world
and to share your love and hope with others,
especially those who need it most.