Friday, December 25, 2009

the christmas eve christingle caught on fire

So I thought, being a Baptist, I’d have a crack at the Christingle idea. As Baptists can do, with our liturgical freedom to sample, make do, grab and borrow. And it being the 7pm Christmas Eve service, and built around a nativity tablaeu, the story told through carol and reading, meaning it only needed a short summary.

  • I liked the orange – God so loved the world.
  • I liked the orange being rotten – a knife to get rid of the gung.
  • I liked the candle – the light of the world.
  • I liked the toothpicks pointing in four directions – God for all nations.
  • I liked the fruits on the end – that the light of the world changes us.
  • But I didn’t like the red bow – the blood of Christ. It’s Christmas Eve, not Easter. It’s God with us. So the bow got switched for a nappy. (And a piece of nappy also attached to the service sheet, to be used as a tactile, participatory prayer).

So I made the Christingle and the kids were really attentive and it was great. I gave the benediction and out came the Christmas cake. Lots of people hanging around, neat sense of community, lots of positive feedback. All these Baptists have never seen anything like this before!

I’m feeling quite pleased. Until I smelt a smell. Of a burning nappy.

You see, in a moment of theatre during the talk, I’d lit the candle in the Christingle from the Advent candles. It seemed to make sense – light of the world and all that stuff.  But by the end of the service had burnt all the way down. And now the nappy was on fire. Jesus nappy! God with us! Puffing black smoke. Charred, blackened ruin, alit at the edges.

Nothing like Baptist innovation!

Posted by steve at 06:46 PM


  1. No problem…once I set a carpet alight causing a £1000 insurance claim during a Methodist Covenant service…

    Happy Christmas!

    Comment by Graham — December 25, 2009 @ 10:03 pm

  2. It was a great illustration Steve – I’d only just heard of the Anglican version the week before so it was lovely to have it reinforced in a Baptist, Opawa, Steve kinda way! The kids were mesmerised and i never noticed the nappy burning! Nothing like a little charring to keep us humble though!

    Comment by Rebecca — December 25, 2009 @ 10:24 pm

  3. thanks Graham. we’ve also got a black polythene pool, filled with water in the church as we speak. used it for 11 pm midnight, built with a cover over it, so at christmas day it has a nativity on top and no-one knows its there.

    which we’ll pull out for our last sunday service of year.

    which leaves 3 days for it to develop a pinsized leak and flood the carpet!

    🙂 steve

    Comment by steve — December 26, 2009 @ 9:42 am

  4. ta rebecca. the best bit was that kid taking pictures. i felt like i was a film star!


    Comment by steve — December 26, 2009 @ 9:42 am

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