I hope that pretty much everyone of you will be pulling a Christmas Cracker later on today. I want to infuse it with some extra meaning – Christingle style you might say –
What does it tell us about the True meaning of Christmas?
i) the first thing is the Bang (volunteer – pull the cracker using fire tongs?) – if it works really well, it is a surprise – Christmas is a surprise – the shepherds have been waiting a long time for this – but when it comes, the Angels sing their song – it’s a hugely exciting surprise.
Their Faith is enormous this day – and it will grow each day as Jesus grows.
The Bang symbolises the surprise that the Angels bring the Shepherds.
ii) the next is the JOKE:
(1) I can’t get to the chocolates in my advent calendar. Foiled again.
(2) Why was the snowman looking through the carrots? He was picking his nose.
(3) What’s Dominic Cummings favourite Christmas song? Driving home for Christmas
(4) Did you hear that production was down at Santa’s Workshop? Many of his workers had to Elf isolate
The Shepherds saw the baby lying in the manger and rejoiced and glorified God. There’s so much joy in Christmas, its good to share it. Joy.
iii) Gifts – (what’s this one) – may it be a reminder of the Magi who brought their gifts to Jesus. They travelled such a long way. They will leave with Hope in their hearts.
You might get some gifts to day – yes that’s lovely and I will preach more about that on 3rd January. But don’t forget that the main gift today is Jesus.
iv) Crowns – silly paper hat –
it is a reminder that to all who received Jesus, God gave the right to be children of God – Princes and Princesses to the King of Kings.
You wear this paper crown because today we feast like kings –
but you also wear it as a reminder of who you are in the eyes of your heavenly Father – you are a son, a daughter of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
You are much loved.
But that’s not how Jesus comes to us – not as a King with his Crown on – but as a baby in a manger -Jesus comes to us fragile – like our hope and our faith – Jesus is God with us, this is the Good News, will you receive it?
We’re not quite having the Christmas that we thought we might have. This year it is going to be simpler. So I’d like you So what I’d like you to do is to take some straw, some hay. (to Camera – you can go outside later and get some grass)
There’s some straw in a manger – either take a clump as you come up to communion, or I will put it at the back of Church so you can take a little on your way home.
I’d like you to put it on your table – as a reminder that the first Christmas was the simplest. And its okay if ours are too.
That the first Christmas was all about, only about, – baby Jesus, God with us, in a manger.
So in a Cracker you have :
The surprise of Good News – the shepherd’s faith
The Gift – a reminder that the Magi left with hope
The Crown – because Jesus invites us to become Children born of God –
The Joke – Christmas is full of Joy!
SO Put onto your table today a little hay – the reminder that Jesus is the true source of our joy this day.