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.
You know what is coming, don’t you? Christmas, the birth of Christ! We know what is coming, because it already came. Christ was born for us more than two thousand years ago, and we are still celebrating!
Even before Christ was born, the faithful people knew somebody was coming too. They knew that God was going to send somebody to save them. They were waiting and waiting for that person to come!
Today, in the Gospel reading, we hear some words that were written 700 years before Christ. These words are from the Prophet Isaiah, “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel, which means ‘God with us.’”
So, God is with us today! But did you know that God was always with His people? Even before baby Jesus was born, God was with His people. But God gave us His Son, so we could have God even more with us! When Jesus was born, God became a person. He wanted to change us and make us better. He wanted to save us because He loves us so much.
God was always with us, but on the first Christmas, He was with us in a new and special way!
SAINT RUTH THE HOLY FOREMOTHER
Can you think of some stories from the Old Testament, the time before Christ was born? Noah, Moses, Jonah?
Today we celebrate all of the holy saints from the Old Testament. They loved God and were close to Him, but they lived before our Lord, Jesus Christ became man. The icon below shows the holy forefathers, holy men saints who came before Christ. But today we also celebrate the holy foremothers, women saints who came before Christ.
One saint is the holy foremother Ruth. She was the greatgrandmother of King David, and kind of like a great-great-great (28 greats) grandmother of Jesus. You can read the story of Ruth in the Bible, because there is a whole book about her. Ruth had a sad young life, because her husband died. The Bible tells us she lived with her mother-in-law, and she always took care of her mother-in-law. She was always loving and loyal, and so she is an example to all of us.
We can look to these special foremothers and forefathers to be examples for us!
We celebrate these holy saints today, the Sunday before Christmas.
Welcome to “The Children’s Word,” a weekly ministry of the Orthodox Christian Network. Each week, Presvytera Alexandra Houck writes this little newsletter for young parishioners! You will find age-appropriate articles, stories, and activities in every edition. The newsletter is provided in PDF format so that you can easily download and print it, and share it with your parish, church school, homeschool, family, and friends.
Each issue includes a message on the Sunday Gospel lesson and on one of the saints for the week. You’ll also find a coloring page and other activities. It is designed for a 8.5 x 14 page, so it can be printed and folded.
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