- The children sit at the front, forming a
tableau of the wise men and their attendants sitting around a camp fire.
The wise men read from a script in which they reflect on their journey to
Bethlehem and events in the stable.
- An adult
leader brings out some of the main teaching points of the
children to read the script.
- As many
other children as would like to come to the front to sit with the wise
- An adult
to lead the discussion.
- Scripts for
the wise men.
chocolate coins in a treasure box, fancy purse or similar
you could use either incense or incense sticks.
you could use an anointing oil, or simply a small ornamental jar with a
lid to represent the myrrh.
- Head-dresses for the wise men: you could provide a
turban, a headcloth and a crown.
cardboard "thought bubble" (see script).
a cushion on which each of the gifts can be presented.
readers and the people who will hold up the gifts before the service or
at the beginning, according to your usual practice.
- In the
Bible the visitors are 'magi' rather than kings, and although three gifts
are mentioned we are never told how many visitors there were, much less
their names (as in the carol). "Magi" were wise men who studied
- What did
the wise men's gifts mean? Talk about the value of gold and the
sort of people we might expect to have a lot of it today: the wise men
brought gold for a King.
- Light the
incense or incense sticks so that the children can smell it. What happens
to the smoke? It rises - and when it is used in worship, whether
in ancient times or in churches today, it represents our prayers rising
to God. The wise men brought incense for a Priest.
about the myrrh: in Jesus' time it would have been associated with death
- with younger children you might decide that this is all that you will
say - because of its use as an embalming ointment and as funereal
incense. The wise men brought myrrh for One who would die for
- The wise
men faced hardship and danger in order to worship Jesus. They
showed the sort of determination and wisdom that we all need to follow
Him today. You might also talk about what intelligent, educated men they
would have been. The media can tend to portray religious people as simple
folk who can't think for themselves, and religion itself as an easy
option. But these men were the scientists of their day and they were
prepared to travel a long way and suffer great dangers and hardship for
what they believed. They had sought the evidence for their beliefs, and
now they were prepared to act on them. In many ways they are a model for
- Herod accepted Christ's importance just as
much as the wise men did - but he responded with fear and violence. We
all need to make a choice about what we believe about Jesus - and about
how we will respond.