Presvytera Alexandra Houck created The Children's Word bulletin so children will know they are not only welcome in church, but even more, an essential part of the Church family. She hopes the weekly bulletin will be just one more way we can make kids feel at home in church. Presvytera Alexandra is a graduate of Duke University and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. Her husband, Fr. Jason Houck, is a priest at St. Mary's Greek Orthodox Church in Minneapolis, MN. Presvytera Alexandra and Fr. Jason have three small children: Lydia, Paul, and Silas. Presvytera Alexandra grew up attending Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Asheville, North Carolina with her nine siblings.
Do you know what a “makeover” is? You might have seen one in a magazine or even on TV. You see pictures of one person, and then you see pictures of that same person with new clothes, a new hairstyle, everything different. That person was made over. You see from the pictures how he or she changed for the better!
Today in the epistle reading, we hear about a different kind of makeover. Saint Paul’s letter talks about how we Christians have to put away our old ways and put on our new ways. We have to get rid of things like “anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self.”
In his letter, Saint Paul was talking to people who had just become Christians. But we can listen to him every day of our lives. That’s because every day, we can try to get a makeover! You can change “the old you” by being gentle and friendly and loving and honest, and with good words coming from your lips. You can change that “old self” of yours into a “new self” by acting the way our Lord wants us to act!
THE THREE HOLY YOUNG MEN: FAITH EVEN IN THE FIRE
We all know stories from the Old Testament like Jonah and the big fish, Noah’s ark, Adam and Eve, Daniel and the lion’s den. But have you heard the amazing story of the 3 holy young men?
Long ago, before Christ was born, a king named Nebuchadnezzar built a big huge statue of himself. Why? Because he wanted everybody to worship him, and not God! These three boys were friends with the prophet Daniel. They knew it was silly to worship a statue. They only wanted to worship the one, true God. But when they wouldn’t worship the statue of the king, the king grew really angry. He sent them into a blazing furnace, a fire. But inside the fire, the three boys prayed to God. They asked God to help them.
The Bible says that God sent an angel to cool the fire for them. So, instead of feeling hot, the three boys felt a nice, cool dew. They trusted in God, even when things were awful for them. These three young men, named Ananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, knew that God was much more powerful than the king.
What do you think you can learn from these three holy young men? Can you try to trust God as much as they did? Even when things are hard for you?
We celebrate the 3 holy saints on Monday, Dec. 17th (Dec. 30th, OC)
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