245 - Where is the Prince?


15 minute Story planner

Matthew 2
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor, page 282

1. Setting the scene - 2 mins 
Find the New Testament section in a Bible.
Show and talk about 'The life of Jesus FlashCards' cards one to two

Before telling this story, remind the children what had happened previously. Explain that the Old Testament times had drawn to a close and the Romans were in charge of the land God had promised to Abraham. God’s people were waiting for the Messiah – the special person God had promised to send. Explain that last week we heard the story of Jesus’ birth. Christians believe that Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus is the special person God’s people had been waiting for. He is God the Son. You might need to explain that in this story the Messiah is called the king because people believed He would be a king like King David. After telling the story, reassure the children that although King Herod wanted to capture the baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph took Him safely to Egypt.

2. Starter question - 1 min  
How many rooms do you think there are in Buckingham Palace? One hundred? two hundred? There are in fact 775 rooms in the Palace – 78 are bathrooms! Buckingham Palace is the Queen’s official home in London. Many years ago princes and princesses were born in the Palace – today they are born in hospitals but they are still sometimes christened in the Palace. Two thousand years ago, when the wise men heard that a new king had been born, it was not surprising that they headed straight for the royal palace. But the king who lived there was not at all pleased to see them.

3. Tell the story with props - 4 mins

  • A book about astronomy or images of star maps from the internet; be aware of copyright restrictions

  • Three decorative boxes to represent the wise men’s presents

  • ‘Go to Bethlehem and tell me where he is’ speech bubble (see Printables)

Click on the images at the beginning of this post for more resources from the web

4. Story activity - 6 mins

Option 1 - Enjoy the puzzles in this week's Dead Sea Comic Caper (see Printables)

Option 2 - Just in case!
You will need a small suitcase, a large bag of objects (see Printables for a list of suggested objects), answer sheets (see Printables), pens and a stop-watch.

Before the session print enough answer sheets for one per team.

Divide your group into two teams. Remind the children that the wise men packed their bags for a long journey. Explain that you are going to pack a suitcase too. One at a time take items out of the bag and place them in the suitcase. You will need to use about ten of the items. The children will need to watch carefully, trying to remember each individual item. When all the items are in the case, close the lid and start the stop-watch. In their groups the children should try and write down the names of the items you have placed in the case, writing their answers on the sheets. Stop the watch after one minute. Reveal the items you placed in the case. Award the children one point for every item they remembered. The team with more points is the winning team. Play the game again, this time with a different selection of objects. If you don’t have enough objects include some from the previous round.

5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins

Father God we thank you that you are the Creator God. When we think about the star you placed in the sky to lead the wise men to Jesus we marvel at your wonderful creation.

Father God we thank you for the example of the wise men, prepared to make the long journey in search of the Messiah. In the same way in which they longed to see Jesus, help us to want to know you more and more each day. Amen

Alongside this story, make the craft...

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