Familiarize yourself with the following:
Matthew 2One day, about two years after Jesus was born, King Herod was sitting on his throne when several wise men from faraway places came to him. They wise men asked King Herod, “Where is the one who is to be born ‘King of the Jews’? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.” This was very upsetting to King Herod. King Herod was a very proud man. He thought he was the best king. He wanted to be the only king. So he asked his priest where the bible said the Messiah (or Savior) was to be born. They told him, Bethlehem. Next King Herod asked the wise men when the star first appeared that they were following. They told him two years ago. King Herod was making a plan to kill the baby so that he would not become king. Then King Herod sent the wise men on their way and told them to come back when they found the baby.
When the wise men found Jesus, they bowed down and worshipped him. They also gave him some very expensive gifts; gold, frankincense and myrrh. God was looking after Jesus. In a dream, God warned the wise men not to go back to King Herod. So, when the wise men left, they went home in another direction.
When Herod realized he had been tricked by the wise men, he gave orders to have all baby boys two years old and younger killed. God warned Joseph in a dream to escape to Egypt. After Herod died, God told Joseph in another dream that it was safe to return to Israel with Mary and Jesus.
Gifts for a KingSupplies Needed:
• Something gold colored
• Something that smells sweet like incense (potpourri spray)
• A spice (cinnamon or nutmeg)
1. As you are telling the story of the wise men, pull out the appropriate representation of the wise men’s gifts.
2. Explain that gold is what Mary and Joseph would have used like money. It would have helped them with their daily living expenses. It is something they needed to live.
3. Explain that frankincense is like sweet smelling incense. It is something that Mary and Joseph would have used to worship God. It was a spiritual gift.
4. Explain that myrrh is like a spice. It was very expensive and smelled very nice. It was often used to prepare a body for burial. While this gift was symbolic, it was also very practical. It was something people wanted to have. Mary and Joseph most likely sold this expensive perfume and used the money to travel to Egypt and escape Kind Herod.
Memory VerseMatthew 2:6
"But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.”
Jesus ConnectionThe wise men sought out the Messiah and they found him. Deuteronomy 4:29 says that if you “seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all of your heart.” Jesus wants to be found by us. If we are seeking him with all of our heart, then he will reveal himself to us, just as he did for the wise men by placing a star in the sky to guide them.
We Three Kings of Orient AreWe three kings of Orient are
Bearing gifts we traverse afar
Field and fountain, moor and mountain
Following yonder star.
O Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to thy Perfect Light
Pin the Wise Men to the City (This is a twist on the game “Pin the Tail on the Donkey”.)Supplies Needed:
• A poster board size paper with a bible time city landscape on it. (This can be hand drawn or made with cut out. Just be sure it is bigger than A-4!
• A small picture of Mary, Joseph and Jesus
• Small pictures of wise men; enough for each kid to have one
• Tape or sticky tack
1. Hang your picture on the wall. Stick the Mary, Joseph and Jesus picture on one of the houses. This is where Jesus’ family lives, and the wise men must find them.
2. Give each kid a wise man cut out with tape or stick tack on the back.
3. One at a time, blind fold each kid, spin them in a few circles, and then have them walk toward the city and place their wise man on it. The kid whose wise man is the closest to Jesus’ family wins.
4. This game can be repeated as many times as you like by simply moving Jesus’ family to a new house in the city.
Star Craft Christmas OrnamentSupplies needed:
• Print out of the Christmas Craft Star Ornament template for each child
• Cotton swabs for the glue
• Decorations (crayons, markers, glitter, sequins, jewels, ribbon….)
1. Print out the template on to very stiff paper.
2. Cut out both stars.
3. Decorate both sides of both stars. Make sure to keep the dotted line visible.
4. Cut along the dotted line of each star.
5. Slide the two star shapes together along the dotted line cut.
Offering BoxSupplies Needed:
• One small shoe box
• Wrapping paper
• Decoration items
1. Wrap a small shoe box in wrapping paper. Make sure you wrap the box and the lid separately so that the box still opens.
2. Cut a hole in the top of the box.
3. Decorate the box however you wish!
4. Place the box in a visible place in the classroom.
5. Remind the children that the wise men gave gifts to Jesus, and we can also give to Jesus. Encourage the children to bring their offering gifts to church and put them in this box. Tell the children how this money can be used for Jesus.