This message celebrates the visitation of the Magi after the birth of Christ. Although there are many details of which we are uncertain, we do know that God’s revelation of the Messiah to the “Wise Men” was significant in demonstrating His heart for Gentiles as well as Jews. The Magi were led by a star, which guided them to where Jesus was. With this message, we remind children that we have our guidance from God’s Word, the Bible.
Law/Gospel Theme: It’s easy for us to get caught up in details, rules, or regulations. We can feel “lost” sometimes, wondering what God would guide or how He might want us to act. We learn this not through road maps or travel guides, but with study in His Word, the Holy Bible. This message communicates the importance of using the Bible as a spiritual “map” of sorts, and following its directions for our lives.
Optional Materials: Maps of various kinds; compass; GPS tool or phone; Bible; star-shaped items.
Matthew 2:1-12 Children’s Sermon
Greet children, carrying maps or positioning devices.
Hello, children of God… Have you ever taken a trip? What kinds of things help you prepare to travel? Do your parents use something to help find their way? Maybe you use a map…there are many different kinds of maps (take out a few while you describe): you might have a big road map like this, that shows you which highways to take if you’re driving somewhere.
Maybe you go to an amusement park or a small place, and you get a map like this that shows you how to get around. Or you might go hiking and get a little guide like this, that helps you follow trails and not get lost. You might also use a compass like this, that points to the North to show you where things are. Well, these days a lot of people have electronic versions (hold up phone or GPS), so all you have to do is tell it where you want to go, and you can get turn by turn directions and even voice commands that guide you along your way!
Consider this, though: have you ever followed a STAR for guidance? Has the night sky told you where and how to go? That probably sounds a little strange, doesn’t it? Well, a long time ago, a little bit after Jesus was born, God sent some special visitors to Him. There were men who lived far away, and they had studied Scripture and watched stars. They knew that God had promised to send a Messiah to rescue people. We sometimes call them “wise men” or “Magi.” These men saw a brilliant star shining in the sky, brighter than any other star.
They knew this was something important, and they believed God sent the star to show them where to find the Messiah. They traveled a long way to find the place the star led, and they finally found Him. Well, they first came to Jerusalem and saw King Herod (there’s another story there…), and then made their way to where Jesus was. When they found Him with Mary and Joseph, they gave Him special gifts: valuable gold, frankincense, and myrrh. They knew Jesus was important and wanted to honor Him. They were willing to take risks, sacrifice their time and money, and go to a lot of hard work to find the Messiah, and trusted God to lead them.
Well, we may not have brightly shining stars to guide us, but we do have a special instruction manual to show us where to go. Do you know what map God has given us for direction? (Hold up a Bible) This! God has given His word, the Bible, for us to follow. It is our compass, map, and recipe for life! When we read the Bible and seek to understand what it says, we can better understand what God tells us and what ways we should live our lives. Just like a compass always points North, the Bible points to Christ.
All of its stories are true, and they guide us to Jesus just like the star guided the Magi. So whatever else we look to for direction, let’s look to the Bible for spiritual guidance. Ask God to help you understand the Bible. Study it, put it in your heart, and remember its significance. It will never steer you wrong!
Children’s Prayer Moment
(Have kids repeat each line)
You are the light that guides our way
Help us to read your word
To understand what it means, and obey your directions
Thank you for your instruction
Thank you for your love
We love you, God!
In Jesus name, Amen!
Bible Verses/story to Reference:
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:
6 “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” 9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way. -Matthew 2:1-12 ESV