The Magi travel to meet Jesus (Matthew 2:1-12)
Today's bible reading talks about how the magi travelled to meet Jesus.
What is Epiphany?
We often think of Epiphany as just being one day/Sunday, but in fact it is a season in our liturgical calendar. For three weeks we celebrate how Epiphany is all about expanding God's Kingdom beyond his people Israel. The word Epiphany describes the 12th day of Christmas, which falls on January 6th and marks the official end to the festive season for many Christians.
We also celebrate Jesus' baptism on this day (see our other Bible Explore resources for today) and Epiphany also marks the visit to the baby Jesus by the Magi, (the three Kings, or Wise Men). The word 'Epiphany' comes from Greek and means 'manifestation'. It celebrates 'the revelation of God in his Son as human in Jesus Christ'.
Find out more facts about Epiphany here
A lot of families will be on holiday this weekend, and the story this week is a great one for an intergenerational service. We'd encourage you to include your children into the wider church family, and make sure the worship and teaching is for all ages. If you would like to provide some activities to back up the story for today, you could consider including:
A simple chalk blessing to pray over the homes and households for the year ahead.
For background info about the blessing:
Alternative Epiphany Collect
God of all wisdom
As the wise ones were guided to your stable by a star,
lead us through this world with gifts of
love, reason, and wisdom
so that we shall know and love you,
our beginning and our end.
For you are alive and reign with the Father
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Unpacking the readings
The Church of Scotland have some good lectionary reading content on their website, which is helpful for those preaching this Sunday, or looking for background information on the scriptures.
You can find their information here
Preschool Playdough Mat
Flame Creative have put together a printable Playdough mat, so that the youngest of our children can enjoy Epiphany too.
You can find it on their website!
Play dough recipe
What you need
An illustration from Rev. Sarah West from Visio Lectio, a project from the Anglican Diocese of Auckland.
Jesus the refugee (Matthew 2:13-23)
In today's gospel reading, Mary and Joseph flee Egypt to protect Jesus from Herod. The reading order is a little out of sync this week, as the story next week is about the wisemen finding Jesus, which happened just before this passage! You may like to consider how you tell these two weeks as a shared story of Jesus' life.
Jesus was a refugee - Lost Sheep
Australian author and illustrator, Andrew McDonough, has written a wonderful story for this gospel reading: Jesus was a Refugee.
Watch the story (see right)
Purchase the story (Book Depository)
Illustrations and digital files (Lost Sheep)
Bookmarks (Lost Sheep)
Maze (Lost Sheep)