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Exploring the meaning of Epiphany: God showing that he cares for everyone, not just one group of people.

by The Revd Sue Allen

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To explore the meaning of Epiphany: God showing that he cares not just about one group of people, but for everyone.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need some chocolate money or other 'gold', an incense stick and a jar of skin cream, such as Nivea, labelled as 'cream for wrinkly bodies'.
  • Prepare a card, OHP or flip-chart with the word Epiphany on it.
  • Prepare seven cards with the letters S H O W I N G on them, or write these on a flip-chart or OHP at the appropriate point.


  1. As the children come in, they should be able to see the display of 'gold' coins, the incense stick burning (if safety permits), and the jar of cream. Invite them to look at the items and offer suggestions as to what the assembly is about. Go through the visual aids one by one, explaining that the skin cream represents myrrh, which used to be put on the wrinkly skin of dead bodies!

    Include a brief reminder that God's people had been looking for someone to lead them and their nation. (This links well with the Christmas and Advent assemblies also on the site.)

  2. Introduce the word 'Epiphany', held up or pointed to by a volunteer. To explore what 'Epiphany' means, tell the story of the coming of the Wise Ones, with the help of seven volunteers, each holding up a letter, as follows:

    W - Wise Ones, from a far country
    S - the Star, which they followed, looking for a king
    H - Herod, the king they found, who was
    N - Not pleased to hear about a New King!
    O - over the place where Jesus was, where the star stopped where they Offered him
    G - gifts, of Gold,
    I - Incense, and also myrrh.

  3. Invite the children to put up their hands when they have worked out what word can be made by rearranging the letters - SHOWING - and move volunteers' positions as required (or rewrite on the flip-chart/OHP).

  4. Say that the message of Epiphany is that God is showing himself to ALL people; we are all special to him.

Time for reflection

Thank God for his care for all of us.
Pray that we may all know he loves us.

S is for the Star
H is for Herod
O is for Offering
W is for Wise Ones
I is for Incense
N is for naughty Herod not happy with the New king
G is for Gifts

All together - SHOWING God cares for us all.


'Oi Oi we are gonna praise the Lord' (Songs of Fellowship for Kids, Praise CD)
'Riding out across the desert' (Come and Praise, 124)

Publication date: January 2003   (Vol.5 No.1)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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