Wise Men Visit Jesus: Matthew 2:1-11

Epiphany is the day when we celebrate the wise men coming to visit Jesus.  It is January 6th.  As we prepare to celebrate this day in the church, I invite your family to enter the story and continue to work on your family nativity sets.  Have fun feeding your family’s faith together!

Wise men

Gathering Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you for time to feed our faith as a family, and for your coming at Christmas.  Help our time to be holy time.  In your name we pray, Amen.

Bible Story:  Matthew 2:1-11
Read this story in your Bible, My First Hands On Bible, or you can find it here:  https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+2%3A1-11&version=ERV

Discuss as a family:  What are some details that you noticed in this story?  Who is your favorite character?  Your least favorite character?  Who would you want to be in this story?  Why does this story matter to us?

Activity:  Completing your Nativity Set
This week you will complete your nativity set by making the three wise men and the camel.  Look for the set of instructions that match your set, below.  If you want to listen to some Christmas music as you work (it is still Christmas, after all!), here are three great collections:
For Kids with Words:  https://youtu.be/PC67SdKYQ28
All verses with lyrics:  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjrNT3nia3QvVViHQSpRO3XA7m3NfpQDO
Piano only, no Words:  https://youtu.be/sa7i-YYhc5Q

TP Nativity: (Easy-level of difficulty-anyone can do it!)

TP Nativity
Coloring Template (TP Nativity 1TP Nativity 2)
Coloring utensils
Scissors
9 empty toilet paper rolls
1 empty paper towel roll
-or- 2 empty wrapping paper rolls
(you could get 2 rolls at the dollar store, unwrap them and store the paper wrapped around another roll)
Crystal Clear Packing Tape
Empty Cardboard Box

Color the wise men and the camel.  Cut them out along the lines provided.  Secure the wise men to empty toilet paper rolls with the packing tape, as shown in this little video:

For the camel, you will have to make a flat base on your toilet paper roll so that it will rest upright.  See the pictures below to learn how to do this.

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Secure the camel to the empty toilet paper roll, as shown above.

Since Epiphany is not until January 6, the wise men have not yet arrived at the stable.  Place them somewhere in the room that is East of your stable, like in the story.  Move them to the stable on Epiphany!

Stone Nativity: (Medium-level of difficulty due to coloring)

Stone Nativity
Coloring Template (Stone Nativity)
Coloring Utensils (fine point)
Scissors
13 river stones
Mod Podge Glue
½” width paint brush
Shredded paper
A basket or a bowl (preferably borrowed, like Jesus’ cradle!)

Color the wise men and the sheep.  Cut them out as near to the edges of the characters as you can.  Choose four stones that will fit the characters.  Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to the stone, place the character on the stone, and apply another thin layer of Mod Podge over the top.  Be careful as you do this; my markers had a tendency to run the colors together if I was too generous with the glue.  Allow to dry.  Add another second thin layer of glue.  Allow to dry.

Since Epiphany is not until January 6, the wise men have not yet arrived at the stable.  Place them somewhere in the room that is East of your stable, like in the story.  Move them to the stable on Epiphany!

Block Nativity: (Hard-level of difficulty/time)

Block Nativity
Coloring template (Block Nativity)
Coloring utensils
Scissors
1- 8 ft. 2 x 4 cut into 12- 7 in. sections
(glue 2 together for donkey)
(cut one into 3- 2.25 in. sections for 2 sheep and 1 star)
Sandpaper
Wood stain
Mod Podge
1 in. paint brush
A stable (You can find plans for one here)

Color the wise men and the camel.   Cut them out as near to the edges of the characters as you can.  Take three of your 7 inch blocks, which you have sanded and stained, and turn it so that the long edge is vertical (these will be the wise men).  Take the last of your 7 inch blocks, which you have sanded and stained, and turn it so that the long edge is horizontal (this will be the camel).  Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to each of the blocks, place the correct character on the block, and apply another thin layer of Mod Podge over the top.  Be careful as you do this; my markers had a tendency to run the colors together if I was too generous with the glue.  Allow to dry.  Add another second thin layer of glue.  Allow to dry.

Since Epiphany is not until January 6, the wise men have not yet arrived at the stable.  Place them somewhere in the room that is East of your stable, like in the story.  Move them to the stable on Epiphany!

Song:  We Three Kings
Have you ever wondered why the wise men brought the gifts that they did to Jesus?  This song explains it all:

Sing along on the refrain, or challenge yourself to learn the whole song.

Thanks for your commitment to faithfully feed your family’s faith.  I hope that this time was holy time for you.

Closing Prayer: (Can be a repeat after me prayer if you have non-readers in your family)
Thank you, God, for this holy time together to feed our faith as a family.  Bless us as we spread the joy of Jesus’ coming at Christmas.  Amen.

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