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Jeremiah 31:2-14

This was for an all age worship service on the Sunday immediately following Christmas Day. So not a Christmas talk as such, but we were still all feeling quite Christmassy. You can listen to the talk on St James's web site.

I re-used a Christmas cracker from 2008 so I won't repeat the instructions about how to make it.

The main idea here was God's everlasting love, and how it is revealed most perfectly in the gift of his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

The visual part of the talk was introduced by saying that the worst thing about some Christmas gifts is that they don't last for ever: batteries run flat by the end of the afternoon on Christmas Day; chocolates are gone by Boxing Day; I had read my Tommy Cooper joke book in a couple of days. (That was just an excuse for:
"I bought my wife a wooden leg for Christmas.
It wasn't her main present - it was just a stocking filler.")

Anyway, this year I had an everlasting cracker. The congregation had to shout an everlasting BAAAANNNNGGGG!! and then we saw what was inside:

  • A music gift card. I pretended to play the song on my phone and over the church sound system came "Everlasting Love" by Love Affair, which got to number 1 in the UK and Malaysian singles charts in 1968. (There is a wikipedia article with lots of other tedious facts about this song.) Actually I had fiddled with the recording using Wavepad sound editor so it slowed to a crawl after a few bars - so not actually everlasting.
  • A giant packet of Extra Strong Mints. I found a cardboard tube about 450mm long and 85mm diameter and reproduced the Extra Strong Mints wrapper using Corel Draw. With the wrapper printed at A3 it covered the tube nicely. Extra Strong Mints do last a very long time, but they're not everlasting.
  • A long string of bunting, bought from Party Delights. It really was very long, and stretched the whole length of St James's. But even though it was so long, it wasn't everlasting.
  • The real everlasting gift was Jeremiah 31:3 : I have loved you with an everlasting love. I printed it out at A0 on the plotter at work (from this pdf file) and joined the bits end to end.

The talk on the passage highlighted a number of words beginning with R. Firstly, God promised to:

  • Ransom,
  • Redeem and
  • Rescue the Israelites.

As a result they will be:

  • Rebuilt,
  • Revived and
  • Renewed.

And in gratitude to God they must:

  • Repent,
  • Rejoice and
  • Remember.

All this applies to us, through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ ; and in his saving work we see his everlasting love.


A cracker. It's about 2m long. Actually it was red in the middle and yellow at the ends this time - this is the photo from 2008.

cracker pulled
Here it is again, after having been pulled.


music gift card
The first 'everlasting' gift. Actually I have no music on my phone and never wear earphones. This probably makes me about 150 years old.

Extra strong mints
Extra strong mints
The second 'everlasting' gift. The tube was about 450mm long and 85mm diameter.

The third 'everlasting' gift: 36m of multi-coloured bunting. That's quite a lot of bunting.

Jer 31:3
The real everlasting gift: God's everlasting love, as displayed in the gift of his Son.


Desert island church by John Parker. Contact me via the about page. Text and images copyright © 2014 John Parker www.desertislandchurch.co.uk.