This is a first … waking up early to write a post! I wish I could say, ‘I’ve woken before dawn refreshed and full of creative juices!’. But the truth is I am still tired, my mind is buzzing and I’ve got a bit of an ache following some dental work on Friday! On the bright side, even though it is dark outside, I can see enough to know there is a thick, thick frost and the promise of a beautiful, sparkly, sunrise. I’m wrapped in a blanket (should be a quilt!), I’m wearing a furry hat and there’s a pot of tea at my side so the chill isn’t getting to me!
First, total admiration for all those bloggers posting pictures of quilts they have completed in the run up to Christmas. How do they do that? I’m struggling to produce a teacosy a week! But no point going down the comparison avenue – at 51 I should know better!
So aside from making the occasional teacosy what have I been doing? Well! This time of year offers loads of great opportunities to meet up with people. On Friday (before the trip to the dentist) I was part of a team of six who had accepted the challenge to make 120 Christingles ready for the service in Church today. It was a very enjoyable hour-and-a-half sat round a couple of tables chatting, having broken down the stages of Christingle construction into production-line type tasks. The gentle talk and the repetitive nature of the work has me wondering if the atmosphere was similar to that of a quilting bee? I love those photos of a group of ladies bent over a quilt, busy stitching, while a couple of young children play in the background.
Christingles are a wonderful visual reminder of what Christmas is all about. The orange represents the world; the red ribbon encircling the orange is a reminder of Christ’s shedding of blood on the cross; the four sticks of fruit and sweets remind us of the four seasons and God’s loving provision and kindness to us; and the candle represents Jesus, Light of the World. And it’s that ‘Light of the World’ title given to Jesus that leads me to my tingle factor – the first 14 verses of John’s Gospel.
Through Him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it… The true light that gives light to every man…
Marvellous! I get a similar tingle when I hear a chorister hit and sustain a soaring high note, the clarity of the sound lifts up my heart and there’s just a slightly brighter glimpse of the glory that one day will be all around.
John’s vision of Jesus at the beginning of revelation continues the theme of light too.
His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.
We can be sure that next time Jesus comes the light will be unmistakable and impossible to ignore!