A ChristingleWhat is the point of Christmas? Honestly it is a question every Christian should ask themselves during this time of the year with the hope that if they profess Christ they’ll get the answer right. I want to write more on that topic in the coming week because the question is one I want to reflect upon in the context of the UK, a Christmas-crazy nation with little emphasis on even the religious, let alone Christ.

But in the midst of that there was today. Our daughter’s school choir sang at the local Church of England Church, Holy Trinity. Part of the emphasis during this Advent season here in the UK is the Christingle. She leaned over and asked, “Dad, what’s a Christingle?” I confess that after receiving her orange with the candle stuck in it and gumdrops skewered with cocktail toothpicks poked in the sides that my answer to her question was a profound, “I have no idea.”

My daughter's school choir performed at Holy Trinity this morning during a Christingle service.
My daughter’s school choir performed at Holy Trinity this morning during a Christingle service.

But Google knows so that is what I did. One of the cool things about living in the UK and Europe is the religious tradition surrounding various days, such as All Souls’ Day and Christmas.The Christingle is one of those traditions – along with All Souls’ Day that we in America seen fall to the side. I won’t repeat here what Wikipedia states about Christingle, but do think it is worth saying that the symbolism of the world, Christ as the light of it, the red ribbon for his blood, etc., is a picture of the gospel held in the hand. When the angels said that they brought good news that would be for all the world, they were proclaiming the gospel. Christ – the Saviour of the world – had come. Holding an orange and lighting a candle should be cause to reflect on the “point” of Christmas.

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