By Kate Fleming
for Whole School
To tell the story of the Wise
Visitors to the baby Jesus (Matthew 2.1-12). To explore the notion of finding
God, transforming everyday events into something
Preparation and materials
- You will need to know your 'script' so that you can direct the action
of the story. The children involved will be responding to your instructions -
they do not need to prepare in advance. The Head or other member of staff is
required to play Herod.
- You will need three cardboard crowns and gifts - either richly
decorated boxes for the traditional gifts, or boxes covered with white paper
representing up-to-date gifts (see 2. below).
- Ask if anyone can tell you anything about the story in the Bible when
some Wise Visitors (Wise Men, or Kings) came from the East to visit the baby
Jesus. Collect together the children's ideas and make the point that the Bible
does not say how many of these Wise Visitors there were, but it is a tradition
to say that there were three. Ask for three volunteers to play the parts of the
visitors. Give them each a crown.
- Talk about the gifts they brought. The Bible tells us that these were
expensive and valuable items of the time. Gold - a precious metal; frankincense
and myrrh - expensive perfumes and ointments. Show the decorated boxes to
represent each gift.
Alternatively, ask the children what three gifts
might be given today - valuable and important things from our time. Perhaps
gold, maybe a Playstation, a collection of books? If you take this option, use
boxes covered with white paper to represent the gifts and write or draw the
articles on them. Ask for three volunteers to be servants and give each a gift
- Now tell the story based on Matthew 2.1-12, with the children miming
the actions as you speak. Start with the Wise Ones looking up at the sky and
the servants asleep on the ground.
The Wise Ones see a special star in
the sky (Wise Ones look up and point). They talk together about what
this might mean (they huddle).
They decide that they must go on
a journey to greet a great new King. So they wake their servants, collect
together provisions for a long journey and set off (they mime
It is a very long way. (Lead the party around
the hall, adding the following at various points) Sometimes they were
freezing cold (all mime shivering). Sometimes it was very hot (all
mime walking in great heat). They are very tired and long to stop (mime
tiredness), but the star keeps leading them onwards (Wise Ones point to
star and urge party to keep moving).
As they come near to their
journey's end, King Herod gets to hear of them and summons them to him
(Herod beckons them over. Servants hold back, Wise Ones bow to
Herod is very interested in this talk of a new King.
Perhaps the travellers would be good enough to call back when they have found
him so that Herod can worship him too (Wise Ones and Herod mime regal
- Stop the narrative and discuss with all the children what they think
Herod may have been thinking about. Draw out the idea that he really wants to
do away with this new King, who he sees as an enemy, or
- Continue the story:
At last the wandering star leads them all
to the place where the new King is. The Wise Ones go in and kneel before the
baby (Wise Ones kneel), while the servants peep in from outside
(servants peep and try to see). The Wise Ones give their gifts to the
baby's mother (Wise Ones put down gifts).
- Does anyone know who the baby was that they saw? Explain that this was
Jesus, who would grow up to be a very different kind of King from King
- Continue the story:
Finally, after their long journey and
exciting day, the Wise Ones go to sleep (all lie down on the floor). As
they sleep, they have a dream. In the dream God tells them not to go back to
Herod, but to go home a different way.
The next morning, they quickly
get up, pack their bags and set off for home (mime packing and starting
journey) but by a different road (guide them on a different route around
the hall back to their starting point).
Herod is very cross indeed
when he realizes that he's been tricked (Herod stands up and walks out
- Ask the mimers to sit down and explain that the Wise Ones found
something very special at the end of their long journey, and we're going to
think about that now.
The Wise Ones went on a long
journey to find a special person.
Think about the special people in your
Who is really special to you?
Herod was jealous of the new
He lied to the Wise Ones, pretending that he wanted to worship Jesus.
Think about what makes you jealous.
Are there things that other people
have that you wish were yours?
Do you ever tell lies to get your own way?
The Wise Ones found what they were looking for, by following a star.
Think about what you would like to do today.
How will you make it
'Travel on' (Come and
This assembly was
originally posted in January 2000.
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