In many churches, January 6 is celebrated as “Epiphany.” An “epiphany” is a truth that suddenly becomes blindingly clear. January 6 is also sometimes called “the Gentiles’ Christmas,” because it focuses on the visit of the Wise Men and their worship of the Christ Child. In receiving the worship of the Magi, Jesus made his love for all people crystal clear.
As you share the story of the Wise Men with the children in your ministry this week, consider distributing some of the Follow the Star items available from CTA. They will help the children remember the comfort and encouragement our Savior brought to earth. The devotion is slightly adapted from the free materials that accompany the Follow the Star theme.
When we say someone is the “star of the basketball team,” what do we mean? (The athlete we describe is the best player, makes the most points, comes through for the team when they need a spectacular play or last-ditch effort.)
When we say someone is the “star of the show,” what do we mean? (The actor or musician pleases the audience a lot. Other performers may be skilled, but the star makes the event what it is.)
When we say, “Jesus is the Star of Christmas,” what do we mean? (Let volunteers answer. Listen and encourage them, but wait to validate an answer until later.)
The Star of Christmas
As you and your family celebrated Christmas these past few weeks, maybe you heard one of God’s very earliest promises about the Savior He would send: “A Star shall come out of Jacob” (Numbers 24:17). In another place, the Bible calls Jesus, “the Bright Morning Star” (Revelation 22:16).
Jesus is the Star of Christmas! He came through for us when we needed Him to rescue us. He’s the best—our best Friend and Savior forever! When we think of the first Christmas, though, we probably think about another kind of star—the kind of star that shines in the sky.
Listen as I read about that star, the star that shone over Bethlehem when Baby Jesus was born. Be ready to tell what that star was like and what it did. (Read Matthew 2:1–11.)
How did the Wise Men find Baby Jesus? (They followed the star God had placed in the sky. It guided them to the house where Mary and Joseph were staying with Jesus—vv. 2, 9-11.)
The Wise Men told King Herod, “We have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him” (Matthew 2:2). And that’s just what they did! When the Wise Men found the baby, they knelt down to worship Him. They gave Him precious gifts, expensive gifts. Then they went back home. The Bible doesn’t tell us what happened to them. But it’s hard to believe they kept the Good News of the Savior to themselves.
We don’t want to keep the Good News about Jesus to ourselves, either. The Christmas star—the one in the sky—shone for many months. Then it was gone. But Jesus’ love and forgiveness last forever. Jesus’ love still shines. Listen and see if you can tell me how:
The Christmas star no longer shines in the sky,
And Christians throughout the whole world now know why:
The true Star of Christmas is Jesus, you see.
He shines in our hearts—in you and in me!
What do you think these words mean? (Let volunteers comment.) Jesus is the true, eternal Star of Christmas. Without Him, all the gifts, all the food, all the decorations and parties—all of it would be meaningless. But with Jesus, Christmas can be one of life’s most joy-filled times. And we can share that joy by letting Jesus’ love shine from our hearts in our words and actions.
Lord Jesus, You are the Star of Christmas! Your love amazes us. You have washed away all our sins and given us eternal life. We worship You! Each day of this New Year, teach us to shine Your great love into the lives of other people. Amen.
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