Friday, 4 December 2009


Each day from now until Christmas day one article will be devoted to a subject connected with Christmas. Today we take a look at Christingles.

A Christingle is a symbolic object used in advent services in churches of many Christian denominations. It has its origins in theMoravian Church, with the first recorded use, in Germany, in 1747.
This is the story of the first Christingle:
One Christmas time back in 1747 in the estate of Marienborn near Eckhartshausen in Germany, Pastor Johannes de Watteville sat at home in front of his fire. He was thinking how he could explain the love of Jesus, and what Christmas really meant to the children in the church. He decided to prepare a simple symbol to help make the message of Christmas fresh and lively for them. Pastor Johannes de Watteville gave each child a lighted candle wrapped in a red ribbon, with a prayer that said "Lord Jesus, kindle a flame in these dear children's hearts". This was the first ever Christingle service.
Many years later, in 1968, Christingle services were introduced to the Anglican Church in Britain by John Pensom of The Childrens Society, and the custom spread quickly; each year there are more and more Christingle services in England and Wales, although today's Christingles are a little different.
The Christingle consists of:
an orange representing the world with a red ribbon around it representing the blood of Jesus (i.e. his death on the cross for our sins, in our place) fruits and sweets (commonly dolly mixtures) are skewered on 4 cocktail sticks which are pushed into the orange representing the fruits of the earth and the four seasons a lighted candle is pushed into the centre of the orange representing Jesus Christ, the light of the world. Jesus describes himself in the Bible, in John chapter 8 v. 12, in this way: 'I am the Light of the World, if you follow me you won't have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.' (New Living Translation) The base of the candle is commonly wrapped in tinfoil; this is regarded by some as purely functional, though others ascribe it with a specific meaning.

Why Do We Say That?

In the ancient world grain was hurled into the air using a tool called a winnowing fork. Wind separated the edible part of the grain (wheat) from the lighter, inedible part (chaff). In Matthew 3:12 John the Baptist warned that on judgement day Jesus would separate the wheat from the chaff (good people from evil).

This phrase is said to come from an old belief that weasels could suck out the inside of an egg leaving its shell in tact.

Once criminals were hanged in Tyburn - west of London. So if you went west you went to be hanged.

This phrase was originally true as Coventry blue as the dyers in Coventry used a blue dye that lasted and did not wash out easily. However the phrase became shortened.

Today's Smile

A Catholic Priest and a Rabbi were chatting one day when the conversation turned to a discussion of job descriptions and promotion.
"What do you have to look forward to in way of a promotion in your job?" asked the Rabbi.
"Well, I'm next in line for the Monsignor's job." replied the Priest.
"Yes, and then what?" asked the Rabbi.
"Well, next I can become Arch-Bishop." said the Priest.
"Yes, and then?" asked the Rabbi.
"If I work real hard and do a good job as Arch-Bishop, it's possible for me to become a full Bishop." said the Priest.
"O.K., then what?" asked the Rabbi. The Priest, begining to get a bit exasperated replied, "With some luck and real hard work, maybe I can become a Cardinal."
"And then?" asked the Rabbi.
The Priest is really starting to get mad now and replies, "With lots and lots of luck and some real difficult work and if I'm in the right places at the right times and play my political games just right, maybe, just maybe, I can get elected Pope."
"Yes, and then what?" asked the Rabbi.
"Good grief!" shouted the Priest. "What do you expect me to become, GOD?"
"Well," said the Rabbi, "One of our boys made it!"

Brainteaser - Thursday's Answer

Did you have a go at yesterday's brainteaser. If so, then this is the answer you should have come up with.

First the farmer takes the goat across the river. He goes back to pick up the wolf. When he is across he leaves the wolf and takes back the goat. Back on the other side he leaves the goat and takes the cabbages with him. Then he picks up the goat and all three items are on the other side.

Well done if you arrived at the correct answer. Easy when you know how!

Thought For Today

The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart.
Elizabeth Foley