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What Is a Lightbulb Moment?

An assembly about Epiphany

by Brian Radcliffe

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To encourage us to remember and value moments when everything becomes clear.

Preparation and materials

  • You will also need to tell the story of the visit of the wise men to Jesus, which is found in Matthew 2.1-12 and is available at:

    You may wish to arrange for some of the children to read the story.


  1. Show Slides 1-4.

    Ask the children whether they can work out what the slides might be showing.

  2. Show Slide 5.

    Explain that people sometimes talk about having a ‘lightbulb moment’. This could be a moment when we have an amazing idea, or when we suddenly realize something. We might have a lightbulb moment when we suddenly understand a piece of work that we have been finding difficult. The moment when the penny drops, the clouds clear and it all makes sense is a ‘lightbulb moment’.

  3. We might have lightbulb moments when we get a bit older, when we suddenly realize what we want to do with our lives, who we want to marry or where we want to live. We might even have one when we come up with a business idea!

  4. We could also have a lightbulb moment when we realize that a so-called friend is leading us into doing things that we don’t want to do. We might suddenly decide that we are not going to do what they say any more – we are going to make our own decisions.

  5. Optional: you may wish to ask the children if they have ever had a lightbulb moment, or describe one of your own.

  6. Explain that the official word for a lightbulb moment is an ‘epiphany’. It comes from a Christian festival day that is celebrated on 6 January. On this day, Christians remember the visit of the wise men to the baby Jesus.

Time for reflection

Either tell the story of the visit of the wise men to baby Jesus or ask the children to read the story found in Matthew 2.1-12.

The Bible describes the wise men as bowing down and worshipping the baby. For them, this was a lightbulb moment: this was no ordinary baby. He was holy, a royal leader whose life and death would affect the whole world. The wise men would never be the same after this moment; it was as if a light had been switched on!

Remind the children that in the Christmas story, the first visitors to see baby Jesus were the shepherds. The other set of visitors were the wise men, who had travelled a long way and were probably very rich.

Ask the children why they think these two sets of people are significant.

Suggest that for some people, it is a lightbulb moment when they realize that to God, everyone is equal; neither rich nor poor are more important.

Pause to allow time for thought and encourage the children to think about what that means in their own lives.


‘I see the light’ from the film Tangled, available at: (3.36 minutes long)

Publication date: January 2021   (Vol.23 No.1)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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