I see from my Twitter feed that some people are looking for ideas for Christingle talks for tomorrow, so thought I’d share mine in case it’s any help. Feel free to borrow and adapt!
I write each of the letters of “CHRISTINGLE” on a piece of paper and put them under chairs in advance. At the start of the talk I ask everyone to look under their seat and bring up their letter if they’ve got one (or, for shy grown-ups, give it to a nearby child to bring up). With the letters held up in random order I ask the congregation to guess what it spells.
Then arrange the letters into the right order, and speak about each in turn. I’ve never written down what I say, so it’s up to you how you make the links and how much emphasis you place on each. But the basic idea is and introduction to what Christmas/Christingle is all about (CH), an outline of the story (RIST) and then the “so what” – what does the story mean for us? (INGLE) The words I use for each letter are:
C – child
H – holy
R – riding on a donkey
I – in a manger
S – shepherds
T – three wise men
I – incarnation
N – nativity
G – God
L – light
E – Emmanuel
A couple of practical notes (from experience!):
1. bear in mind that if you’re aiming for about 7 minutes then, once you’ve done the letter-finding and word-guessing, you’ve only got 30 seconds or so per letter.
2. if, like me, you do it without using notes, writing the word on the back of each letter is helpful, but make sure you’ve got your two ‘I’s the right way round.
3. try not to miss out any letters which have been run off with and/or eaten before you get to them!
Whatever you do, have fun!