What is a Christingle?

Advent stories and messages from around the world

“What is a Christingle?”

December 18, 2021

John 19:30-37; Luke 22:14-20

Have you ever heard of a Christingle? I’ve used one in a children’s message several times over the years.

The word Christingle comes from the German word, Christkindl, which means “Little Christ Child.” It is used to celebrate and show how Jesus is the “Light of the World.”

In 1747 German minister, John de Watteville gave children a lit candle with a red ribbon around it during the worship service. The idea was that the red ribbon, which symbolized the blood of Christ, goes around the entire world.

Today, a Christingle is made with an orange, a candle, 4 toothpicks, sweets like soft candies, and a red ribbon.

The orange represents the world, the red ribbon represents God’s love and Jesus’ blood that was sacrificed on the cross.

The sweets and the four toothpicks represent God’s creation and the four seasons.

Finally, the candle represents Jesus as the light of the world.

It’s an enjoyable way to talk about God’s love for everyone and Jesus’ sacrifice for all the world’s people. And how Jesus remains the light of the world.


Jesus was sacrificed on a cross for you and me. He was the perfect sacrifice, unblemished by sin.

When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus and then those of the other. But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,” 19:36 Exodus 12:46; Num. 9:12; Psalm 34:20 and, as another scripture says, “They will look on the one they have pierced.” John 19:30-37

Jesus knew the kind of death he would have to endure, but He did it anyway, out of love for mankind.

He left us with a particular way to commune with Him as well as commemorate His death at Holy Communion.

 “Where His body and blood are really present in the bread and wine.

“When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.16For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”

After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”

And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”

In the same way, after the supper, he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.

Luke 22:14-20

I’d like to encourage you to share the story of the Christingle with your family, especially the children. What a wonderful gift to them as you talk about how Jesus sacrificed Himself for everyone in the world.

Dear Jesus. Your sacrifice gave us freedom from sin. You died so that we may live. Thank you for saving us and sharing Your Holy Supper with us, so we may commune with you and others. In your name, we pray. Amen.

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