1. As We Gather: What was your favorite thing that happened this year? Write or draw a picture on the paper provided. (scratch paper and markers provided)
2. Opening Prayer: Dear God, we thank you for sending the star to the wise men so that they could meet Jesus in person, and bring the good news of his coming to earth to all they met. Help us to learn more about this story during Sunday School today.
3. Explain how the day will work and divide students: On Epiphany, we celebrate the arrival of the Wise Men to meet Jesus. They had to travel a very long way to get there, so we will be going on our own Epiphany journey today. After I divide you into small groups, you will travel with your small groups to several learning stations throughout the church. At each station, you will be told where to go next. Have a wonderful Epiphany journey today!
(Divide the group into small groups of three or four, depending on how many you have. I usually have all of the students line up from youngest to oldest. Then, I find the center of the line and break it in half, leading the second line parallel to the first line so that they youngest is paired with someone in the middle grades, and the middle grades are paired with confirmation students. After making sure that all of the pairs can get along, I put two pairs together, forming a foursome. Make sure each person gets a small bag to hold the treasures they will collect during their journey. Send each foursome to a different station; they will get to visit all of them by the end.)
1. Chalk the Doorposts: Meet at the back of the church.
–Youtube video “How to Chalk a Doorpost”: https://youtu.be/qtSIj1QDCmE
–Copy of Epiphany Blessing: https://familygodtime.files.wordpress.com/2020/01/epiphany-chalking-the-doorpost-card.pdf
One Epiphany tradition is to bless our houses for the New Year. Which better place to bless than our house of worship? Find a doorway in the church that has not yet been chalked. When you are done, it will look like this:
20 + C + M + B + 19
The oldest/tallest person in your group can make the marks while others read the blessing. It goes like this:
The Three Wise Men,
Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar (C M B),
followed the star to Bethlehem and the child Jesus
two thousande and nineteen years ago (20 19)
May Christ bless our home, (+ +)
and remain with us throughout the new year.
Each person can take a piece of chalk and a copy of this blessing with you as you continue your journey to the library/parlor room.
2. Movie: Meet in the library/parlor room.
–Screen and projector, DVD Player
— (already in the DVD player) “The Journey of the Three Wise Men: https://youtu.be/CGmeh6CmDpE
–paper crowns and two-sided tape
Do you know the story of the Wise Men? Can you picture yourself in the story? Watch this short video to learn more about the story of Epiphany.
Each person make & take a small paper crown with you as you continue your journey to the room behind the stage.
3. Star Craft: Meet in the room behind the stage
— Copies of the star outline https://artfulparent.com/tangle-stars-magic-stix/
–string or ribbon
–copies of the star maze: http://www.biblewise.com/kids/images/fun/the-star-maze.pdf
Follow the directions on the star outline sheet. You can color both sides! If you have time, complete the star maze. Each person take your star and maze with you as you continue your journey to the fellowship hall.
4. Song: We Are Marching in the Light of God: Meet in the Fellowship Hall
— (already in the dvd player) Youtube Video: https://youtu.be/0SOWN0_0lrk
Practice singing this song together. You will lead the congregation in this song on the next Sabbath Sunday.
Each person take an LED candle with you to remind you of the message of this song (your mini crown fits over your light). Continue your journey to the room to the south of the parlor.
5. The Gifts of the Magi: Meet in the room to the south of the Parlor
–Gifts of the Magi Cards: https://familygodtime.files.wordpress.com/2020/01/epiphany-room-spray-card.pdf
–Gifts of the Magi Room Spray (I get mine from my local Essential oils supplier)
–Gifts of the Magi Box https://www.churchsupplywarehouse.com/statuary/nativity-sets/gifts-of-the-magi/gfm006.html
Take some time to explore the gifts which the Magi brought to Jesus.
Gold is a precious metal. It reminds us that Jesus is our king.
Frankincense is a kind of tree sap that, when burned, makes a other-worldly smell. It was used to worship God, because it was believed that the smoke helped to carry our prayers to God. It reminds us that Jesus is the Son of God.
Myrrh is a also a kind of tree sap. It was dried, and crushed, and added to lotion that people would put on bodies after they died. Its sharp smell was stronger than the smell of death. It reminds us that Jesus came to earth as a real human, and that he would die for us.
Give each person a card. Shake up the room spray and spray one squirt onto each card. Attach a Glue Dot to the center of the card, and then attach one chocolate coin to the Glue Dot. Take it with you as you continue your journey to the kitchen.
6. King Cake: Meet in the kitchen
–cupcakes (one with a dried bean baked inside)
Because it was hard to find Jesus with only a star to guide them, some countries celebrate Epiphany with King Cake. Decorate your cupcakes with frosting and sprinkles, and then eat them. If you find a dried bean in your cupcake, you found Jesus! You get to be the king or queen of our Epiphany party!
If you have time, you can decorate your bag with markers and stickers. Take it with you as you continue your journey to the back of the church.