Ask: Did you know that another holiday is coming up?
Say: On January 6th, we celebrate "Epiphany" (have kids repeat that). Epiphany means "revelation".
Ask: Do you know what "revelation" or "to reveal" means? (Let kids answer) — "To reveal" means to make something known to others that was unknown before. (Example: hide something behind your back, then reveal what it is.)
Say: So let us watch a video that tells us what or who was made known that was not known before.
Lesson Video — Epiphany (cf. Matthew 2:1-12)
Ask: Now that we have watched the story, what or who do you think was made known that we celebrate on this holiday of Epiphany? (Answer: God in Jesus (since Jesus was God); everyone — people back then and also us today — could finally see what God is like)
Say: Maybe some of you have heard before that God picked out a certain people group a long time ago that was supposed to tell the rest of the world about God — they are called the "Israelites"; today they are usually called "the Jews" or "the Jewish people". Jesus was born in that people group. All other people groups are called "Gentiles". You and I are Gentiles. The wise men from the story I just read — ask: were they Israelites or were they Gentiles? Say: They were Gentiles. They were like us. They were the first Gentiles to see that Jesus was a King. So whenever you see the wise men now during Christmas time, remember that Jesus did not just come to save the Jews/Israelites, but also all the Gentiles, all the other people groups in the world; He also came to save people like you and me. The wise men represent Gentiles like us that could finally know God, too.
Say: Now let's talk about the gifts they brought, ok? So they brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Ask: Do you know what those are?
Say: Gold is a precious metal that was a gift suitable for a king; and Jesus was a king!
Say: Frankincense (let kids smell oil) is a sweet-smelling substance that was burned for worship and as a sign of holiness; and since Jesus is God and God is holy and to be worshipped, this was another very fitting gift.
Say: Myrrh (let kids smell oil) is an ointment that was used to prepare people for burial after they died; so this gift reminds us that Jesus was also one of us, a man, who eventually died for us.
Say: So, let's summarize that (have kids repeat each line after you):
- Gold = Jesus is king.
- Frankincense = Jesus is God.
- Myrrh = Jesus is human like us.
Say: So today you learned that Epiphany means "revelation" and that we celebrate on this day that God in Jesus was revealed to all people groups, not just the Israelites anymore. And you learned what the three gifts stood for that the wise men brought: Gold for a king, Frankincense for a god, and Myrrh for a man.