Over the past week I have seen people taking down Christmas decorations or I have been asked when is it okay to take down your Christmas tree. It would appear that people are so eager to celebrate Christmas that when the day itself has come and gone they then pounce to take all their decorations down. Have we forgotten the Twelve Days of Christmas? Three Kings Day or the Epiphany is celebrated on the 6th of January. The 6th of January is the last time we turn on the Christmas lights and the tree before we take them down. In some countries around the world Three Kings Day is still a school holiday.
Why is the Epiphany so important?
The gospel of Matthew tries to explain to us that Jesus was recognized and worshipped as a King by wise and powerful men. The wise men were foreigners, they were not Jews. The story helped people to see that the coming of Jesus was a special event for the whole world. The three wise men also brought gifts of Gold Frankincense and Myrrh
As you return to school tomorrow keep Little Christmas/Three Kings Day alive and in the hearts of your students by trying out a short simple meditation. This meditation was inspired by one of my lecturers in college.
(Ask students to get comfortable in chairs or go to the school oratory)
I invite you to close your eyes. Concentrate on your breathing. Begin to listen to all the noises around you. The ticking of the clock, cars in the distance etc. Now focus on your own breathing. Has it slowed down? Slowly breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. On my count I would like you to breathe in throughout your nose and out through your mouth.
7/11 technique applied here (Breathe in counting to 7 and breath out counting to 11) this relaxes and helps focus the students.
Bring students into the manger ask them what they see around them and invite them to sit down in the manger. They look up and see a bright star and three wise men following the star they bring three gifts to the baby Jesus. Name the gifts. Ask each student to think of three people in their own lives that brought gifts into their lives. However, get them to think of different kind of gifts like love, friendship, trust, happiness, (perhaps the gifts we see on the Advent Wreath). Ask them to imagine themselves looking into a mirror and to look at themselves. What do they see? Are the happy with what they see? Tell them that they are all beautiful in the eyes of God. Tell them to pick one important person in their own lives who have given them certain gifts that has helped them become the person they are today. This person is now standing beside them in the mirror. Tell each student that they are beautiful in the eyes of this person. Ask God to bless this person.
Slowly invite the students to quietly open their eyes.
Class activity can follow this short mediation. Discussing each students ‘special’ person. Worksheets etc.