Today's lesson can be condensed as follows:
On Epiphany we remember the three kings. They followed the star all the way to Bethlehem but they came from so far away that they got there after the baby was born. Every year they arrive on January 6th, but we remember them at Christmas anyway because, like us, they too are on the way to Bethlehem.
(Use Advent candles for illustrations and light each one)
Here is the candle of the prophets. This is the candle of the Holy Family. Here is the candle of the shepherds. Here is the candle of the wise men. Here is the Christ candle. Let's enjoy the light.
The wise men brought gifts to the Christ child. They brought gold, frankincense and myrrh. They brought the gold to give to a king, but because it was a different kind of king, they also brought frankincense. Frankincense is something that is used for worship and it is still used sometimes today. Frankincense comes from a tree. When it burns, the smoke is black and then turns white. That is when the fragrance, the scent, is released into the air so you can smell it.
Myrrh comes from a tree too and it was not a gift for an ordinary king. It was burned at funerals. There was something about this baby King's death that was going to be important.
Now watch. I am going to change the light. (blow out candle) The light that was in just one place is now spreading out. Soon it will fill up the whole room.
(Repeat for other candles)
Now I am going to change the light of the Christ candle. Look. It too is spreading out to fill up the room. As it spreads out, it gets thinner and thinner until you can't see it at all. That doesn't mean that it's gone. It only means that you can't see it. You can still feel the Christmas light. It is filling up the room with the prophets, the Holy Family, the shepherds and the three kings. Anywhere you go, you can come close to them.
Next week, we will revisit our Holy Family story as we begin to prepare for Lent and Easter.