Epiphany is observed on January 6, twelve days after Christmas, to remember the kings who came to worship King Jesus and who brought him three gifts—gold, frankincense, and myrrh—following his divine birth.
Read Matthew 2:1-12 from a child-friendly Bible.
The magi were looking for King Jesus to bring him gifts to worship him. They were willing to risk their own lives in order to honor Jesus.
Read Romans 12:1-2 from a child-friendly Bible.
Discuss: Before Jesus came to earth, people's sins were forgiven through animal sacrifices. But now, because of Jesus' death on the cross, we don't have to kill animals to be forgiven. In the passage that we just read it says we are to offer ourselves as living sacrifices (as opposed to dead animal sacrifices). What do you think this means? (Being a living sacrifice involves giving your entire life--your heart, your mind, and your willpower--to God. To be a living sacrifice means obedient service to God. The Bible says it is our reasonable service. It is reasonable--sensible, intelligent--because of what Jesus has done for us.)
As we celebrate the New Year, let us ask ourselves, "What gifts will I bring to King Jesus this year?
Will you give Jesus your heart? (If you've never done so, you can do it right now by admitting that you have sinned and need Jesus to save you and forgive you.)
Will you give Jesus your mind? (You can do so by reading his word everyday and thinking about those things that please God.)
Will you give Jesus your willpower? (You can do so by asking him to transform your will to be like his.)
Will you give Jesus your treasures? (You can do so by giving your gifts of money and talent to furthering his kingdom!)
According to Romans 12, a follower of Jesus Christ should be able to answer this question: How will I serve others in the name of Jesus Christ this coming new year?
What You Do: Give each student a small piece of paper and a pen to write a prayer. Tell the class to prayerfully think about what they can bring to King Jesus this year. (Spend a few minutes praying and asking God to show the class what they can bring to Jesus.) Begin a sentence with, "Because Jesus is the King of my life, I will_________________." Then have the students fill in the blank. Have them write 3-4 sentences whereby they fill in the blank. (For example, "Because Jesus is the King of my life, I will show kindness to my enemies." or, "Because Jesus is the King of my life, I will spend more time reading his word.")
Make Epiphany Boxes to store the prayers.
Decorate a small box, made of cardboard or tin, with paint, decorative paper, pens, markers, and various other items such as small beads, jewels, gold cord, etc.
Place the prayers into the box and store it in a prominent place in your bedroom to remember the gift that you will bring to Jesus this year.
Pray: "Dear Jesus, thank you for coming to earth as a baby and becoming a man. Thank you for going to the cross to be the sacrifice to make me right with God. Help me this New Year to be a living sacrifice for you in all the things that I say and do. May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Amen."
Copyright 2004 Sarah A. Keith
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