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An Epiphany Moment

Epiphany, 6 January

by Janice Ross

Suitable for Key Stage 3


To consider the Magi’s realization that Jesus was the Son of God.

Preparation and materials


  1. Display an image of a ‘light bulb’ moment.

    A ‘light bulb’ moment is often called an ‘Aha’ moment. It is a moment when, suddenly, one begins to see and understand something that has, until then, made no sense or not occurred to us. This can be a moment when you finally get that tricky maths problem or understand the implications of that science experiment.

    Usually there has been a lot of thought and reflection on the issue beforehand, but, up until that point, no breakthrough in understanding.

  2. Archimedes, a Greek scholar, had a ‘light bulb’ moment. He stepped into a bath and noticed that the water level rose. He realized that the volume of water displaced must be equal to the volume of his submerged body. Archimedes didn’t shout, ‘Aha!’, but ‘Eureka!’ It meant the same – ‘I have found it!’

  3. When such rare moments of insight and understanding bring a moral or spiritual realization, they are often called ‘epiphany’ moments. The discovery seems to come all of a sudden from outside ourselves.

  4. The Church in the West celebrates Epiphany on 6 January. Epiphany is a celebration and feast  day to remember the Magi or three wise men’s visit to Bethlehem.

  5. Remind the children that these three kings were extremely learned men. They had observed an unusually new and bright star in the sky and had followed it, believing that it heralded the birth of a very important king. They naturally went first to visit Herod, the ruling king of the lands over which it was. After all, where else would a king be born but in a palace? They were, as we know, wrong. Herod knew nothing of this new king and would have gone out of his way to make sure no such baby had been born to succeed him. The Magi continued to follow the star until it came to rest over a stable in a small town called Bethlehem.

  6. So, what was their ‘epiphany’ moment?

    The place was a dirty stable building in a small town in Judea.

    The characters were a very young and poor couple, surprised at receiving such visitors.

    The king was a baby, a very ordinary baby, lying in a manger, a Jewish baby.

    Yet, the Magi realized that this baby was Christ, the Son of God, sent to not only the Jewish race but also to them, even though they were foreigners.

    Such was this insight that they had no hesitation in giving their expensive gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to this baby in this stable.

    The epiphany of the Magi still speaks to us today.

Time for reflection

Reflect now on any light bulb or epiphany moment you have experienced.

Consider the epiphany the Maji experienced. What difference would that realization bring to your life

Dear God,
Thank you for the birth of your son, Jesus Christ. 
Thank you for the message of love and hope and relationship he brought to the world. 
May a light bulb of understanding and gratitude light up our minds and hearts. 

Publication date: January 2015   (Vol.17 No.1)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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