Sunday Children’s Services 9 and 10:45am
This week’s lesson
We’ve just wrapped up a series in C4Kids called Main Event, and it’s all about celebrating the true reason for the Christmas season–the birth of God’s Son, Jesus!
THIS VIDEO HELPS US TO UNDERSTAND
Maybe you’ve heard this story before. Maybe you’ve heard it a dozen times!
But have you really thought about why these three unlikely visitors were such a big deal?
They came for a very special reason when Jesus was a very small child, and their visit was a very significant offering.
They came to worship Jesus, the newborn King. And we can, too.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
So at Christmas each year, we’ve heard about the “three kings” who came to bring gifts to Jesus.
Who were the Magi? Where did they come from? And why did they come so far?
Let’s summarize what we know. Click on each + below to read more about what all this means.
Have you ever seen a light in the night sky, so big you knew it wasn’t normal? Did you ever try to guess what it was?
They were educated men from a far away country who studied the stars. When they saw this star in the sky, they knew that it was very unusual. They believed it might be a sign of something really big.
They researched and read ancient texts to see what this special star could mean.
Even though the Magi were Gentiles in a far away country, they had scrolls of God’s word available. Gentiles means people who were not Jews, not from Israel. They found prophecies in God’s word that foretold of the Messiah. The prophecies told them a star would come out of Jacob, a Scepter would arise out of Israel. The Magi believed God’s word!
They read God’s word and trusted what He said. When they realized the Scriptures said the star would signify that a special king was born, they packed for a very long journey–a few months of travel through the harsh desert!–to go see the new king, the Messiah.
How did they know where to find the new king? They had no GPS!
They had an idea that the star had come from the land of Judea by the Scriptures they found. But once they got closer they lost sight of the star and could not pinpoint the exact location. So they went to the place they naturally believed a king would be found–the palace in Jerusalem. After asking King Herod (who was NOT happy to hear the news) and leaving Jerusalem, the Magi once again saw the star in the sky to lead them–and they were overjoyed!
They followed the star right to the house in Bethlehem where Mary and Joseph were staying with Jesus. When they entered the house, they immediately bowed down and worshiped Him–a sign of tremendous respect and honor for the new forever King.
They unpacked their chests and presented Jesus with gifts fit for a king! Gold–a very costly precious metal. Frankincense–a costly spice that is given by priests in offering to the Lord. Myrrh–another costly spice that is used to prepare a body for burial.
Such strange gifts for a young child, hardly older than a baby! But very special, ceremonial and prophetically meaningful gifts.
…the promised Messiah, the King of all kings and Lord of all lords, our High Priest who would intercede for all sinners, the Savior of the whole world–even of the Gentiles!
We can respond to Jesus’ birth in the same way.
- We can trust God’s promises about His Son. We can believe Jesus is our Savior, Lord, and our King.
- We can prepare our hearts to meet Him. We can live our lives seeking Him. We can even offer our best to Him.
- We can recognize Jesus as Messiah, the Holy Son of God, sent to earth to save His people from their sin.
- We can respond by bowing our hearts and lives to Him in worship. Not just at Christmas, but every day.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Did you know… Many people around the world continue to celebrate the birth of Jesus after Christmas Day!
In Mexico, Puerto Rico, Spain and other parts of Europe, a special holiday honors the visitation of the Magi and their gifts to the Christ child. This holiday is called “Epiphany” or “Three Kings Day,” and is held twelve days after Christmas on January 6th.
three kings day facts
a parade in madrid, spain
Have a “follow the star hunt” with your family. Hide a special object or baby doll somewhere in your house. Before anyone goes to look for it, mark the doorway to the room with a paper star. When it’s time to find the object, tell your family what they’re looking for and give no hints except this: “The star will show you the way.”
Decorate crowns to recall the “three kings.” Make special cards or presents for a shut-in neighbor or someone in your church who needs encouragement. Write a short explanation of why you’re celebrating Epiphany–“Our Savior has been born!” Wear your crown as you deliver your card or gift.
In Poland and Belgium, children go door to door singing to receive things, sort of a cross between trick-or-treating and caroling. Celebrate Three Kings Day with caroling or parading in your neighborhood. Instead of expecting treats, hand out treats to your neighbors!
In Spain and Mexico, “El Dia de los Reyes” (Day of the Kings) is celebrated with gift giving and parties. Often special bread desserts are served, including special cakes with prizes inside. Consider making a special pastry or cake and hide something inside (ask Mom or Dad to help you!). The person who finds it is “king for the day” and can wear a crown all day.
In many Latin American countries, children leave out hay and food for the Magi’s camels rather than cookies for Santa Claus, and put their shoes outside to be filled with gifts and candy. If Mom and Dad agree, maybe you can leave your shoes out to be filled on Three Kings Day!
Make something and wrap it for each member of the family. Reflect on the gifts the Magi brought to Jesus and exchange yours over a special Three Kings Day dessert. This may begin a new tradition of saving a gift for an Epiphany celebration every year. In some cultures, family gifts are exchanged only in January.
Where does the Bible say the Magi came from?
Why do you think they were willing to travel so far to find the newborn king of Israel?
Why did the wise men travel to Jerusalem first? Was King Herod excited to hear about the new king?
Why did the Magi worship Jesus when they found Him?
What gifts did the Magi bring to young Jesus? What would you have brought to honor Jesus?
Why did the wise men return home by a different road?
Do you think their visit is something worth celebrating? Why is it important to you?
WHAT CAN WE REMEMBER?
After Christmas is over and the whole world is no longer celebrating the joyous occasion, it ‘s easy to let the excitement fade as the tree and lights are put away each year.
But we can remember that celebrating Jesus’ birth is not just for Christmas time!
Celebrating Jesus as our Savior, our Deliverer from sin, is for any time. Because Jesus left Heaven and came to earth, we can know God personally. We can be forgiven of our sin, and one day we can live with God forever in Heaven.
Whether you celebrate Epiphany or not, Jesus is so deserving of our worship. God is worthy of our praise! Like the wise men, you can decide to seek to worship Jesus any day–every day!
We can worship Jesus.
Here’s a playlist for you to praise God all week!
I will extol the LORD at all times; His praise will always be on my lips. My soul will boast in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt His name together. Psalm 34:1