Saturday, 2 January 2016

Christingle Talk 2015

Talk used at the Christingle Service on Christmas Eve 2015, based on John 3:16
  • What gifts are children looking forward to receiving?
  • For businesses Christmas is an important time of the year, and the first Christmas ads appeared on TV in early November. 
  • One of the most highly anticipated adverts of the year is the John Lewis Christmas ad. How many of you have seen this advert? It’s called Man on the Moon.
  • In case you haven’t seen it, let me briefly explain it to you.  It starts with a girl called Lily looking up at the moon with her telescope, when to her surprise she notices a small ramshackle hut, with an elderly man living in it.  She watches as he goes about his chores, and it is clear to her that he’s all alone up there. So she becomes determined to get something to the moon, to send him a message and show him that someone down here is thinking of him.  First of all she writes him a letter and tries to climb up a ladder to reach the moon, then she wraps the letter around an arrow to shoot it to the moon, next she tries sending up a paper airplane, but nothing works.  Then the advert cuts to the lonely old man on the moon, and floating towards suspended by balloons is a beautifully wrapped present.  The man smiles, and opens the present to discover it contains a telescope.  Using the telescope to zoom into the earth he spots the little girl waving to him from the window of her house, and he knows that someone has noticed him.
  • This advert has been viewed over 23 million times on Youtube.
  • For Christians, Chistmas is one of the most important times of the years.   The message of Christmas could be summed up by this verse from John 3:16  ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.’
  • In the John Lewis advert it is the girl Lilly who notices the Man on the Moon and reaches out to him in love. 
  • But the message of Christian faith is that God, seeing the needs of the world reached out to us in love, by sending his son Jesus to lay down his life for us on the cross. 
  • John 3:16 says ‘God so loved the world…’ but you could translate it as ‘God so loved YOU…. that he gave his one and only Son.’   This is the amazing truth, there is nothing you can do to make God love you more, and there’s nothing you can do to make Him love you any less. 
  • The John Lewis advert ends with these words ‘Show someone they’re loved this Christmas’, that is exactly what God did for us, when he sent his Son Jesus into the world. 
  • I asked you earlier to think about the best Christmas gift you ever received.  At a time when we receive presents we don’t always need, Christians believe God offers us a gift we cannot do without, Jesus Christ, and that through believing in Him, we can have everlasting life.
  • Reflection - I want you to think for a moment about what it means for you to know that God loves you unconditionally.  How might you respond to God’s love today?