King Herod sat upon his throne in Jerusalem, thinking about the news his messengers had given to him. Hmmmm ... Wise Men from the East? Seeking to find the One who was born to be the King of the Jews? I wonder what this can mean? Frowning, he thought, I'm the king. No one shall take the throne from me!
He rubbed his hands together thoughtfully. I will speak to the chief priests and scribes. Quickly, he commanded them to come before him. He asked where Christ was to be born.
One of the scribes stepped forward and began to read, "He is to be born in Bethlehem in the land of Judaea." The king accepted his answer.
The more Herod thought about another king's being born, the more angry he became. A plan began to form in his mind.
Soon the Wise Men entered, bowing before King Herod. Their splendor impressed him. He stood and said, "Welcome to my kingdom. I have been told you are following a star that will lead you to a king. Tell me about it."
They told him, "We saw the star in the east and have been traveling for a long time. This star is to lead us to the King of the Jews. Can you tell us where to find Him? We will travel even farther just to find the new King. We have come to worship Him."
"The Scriptures read that the Child you are seeking shall be born in the city of Bethlehem," replied the king. "I have only one request. When you find Him, bring me word so I may worship Him also."
The Wise Men thanked the king and departed. Mounting their camels, they headed out of the city in the direction of Bethlehem. That night the special star which had led them from their homeland appeared again. It seemed to grow brighter and much bigger as they neared Bethlehem. With wonder and excitement the Wise Men hurried along the road.
In time, the lights of Bethlehem appeared. When the Wise Men entered the city they found Joseph, Mary, and Jesus. Joy and happiness filled their hearts - they had found the Messiah! They bowed down and worshiped Him, and gave Him precious gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
As the Wise Men slept that night, God warned them in a dream not to return to King Herod. God knew that Herod did not plan to worship Jesus, but to hurt Him. The Wise Men obeyed and returned home by a different way.
This lesson is about the special star that led the Wise Men in their search for the newborn King. Imagine with your child some of the obstacles that might have confronted these men as they journeyed many miles across the desert sands, following the star.
For a special time with your child this week, make star cookies to commemorate the guiding light of the Wise Men. Use a recipe for rolled cookies, and cut them out in star shapes. Or, if you prefer, use a cardboard pattern to make one large star cookie. Allow your child to decorate the cookies or cookie however he wishes with colored sprinkles and candy.
Let your child invite a special friend over to share the star cookies, and encourage him to relate the story of the special star which it represents at this time.