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.
Have you ever played knights? Maybe you had a sword fight with a friend, and you battled each other to see who would win. Fighting for the kingdom is the best part of playing knights!
In today’s Gospel reading, we hear about a different kind of kingdom. This kingdom is the one that God has made for us. It’s the kingdom of heaven! Our Lord Jesus Christ will rule over this kingdom. And the Gospel says that “in His kingdom, there will be no end.” God’s kingdom will last forever!
Some people thought that the savior would start a new kingdom with big armies, lots of tough fighting, and beautiful buildings. They thought this kind of kingdom would be great. They thought they’d love to have a king who was really in charge.
But remember, our Lord Jesus Christ is called the Prince of Peace. He has already fought so that we can have a peaceful kingdom. In His kingdom, there won’t be any fighting or bad things. This kingdom is a peaceful kingdom.
Our Lord, the Prince of Peace, knows that real fighting isn’t fun. He wants us to have peace in heaven forever!
ARCHANGEL GABRIEL: THE LEADER OF THE ANGELS
Today, we celebrate the wonderful feastday of the Annunciation. That’s the day, you remember, when an angel visited Mary and told her that she would be the Theotokos, the Mother of God! Nine months later is Christmas, the birthday of our Lord.
That angel was the Archangel Gabriel, and we celebrate his feastday this week, too. Many people have called Gabriel the leader of the angels, because he had such an important job to do—to announce the good news to young Mary.
But what else did Gabriel do? Well, Gabriel is the angel who explains mysteries. He tells about things that are hard to understand. (Remember, it was hard for Mary to understand how she could have a baby.) Gabriel also told Zachariah that his wife, Elizabeth, was going to have a child… baby St. John the Baptist. Some theologians say that it was Gabriel who told Mary’s parents that they were going to have a baby too—the baby Mary. Some say that Gabriel announced the good news of our Lord’s birth to the shepherds too. You can also find Archangel Gabriel in the Bible, a long time before Jesus was born.
So you see—The archangel Gabriel is full of good news! Let’s remember him this week!
We celebrate the Arch. Gabriel tomorrow, March 26th (April 8th, OC).
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.
Photo credit: Ratobor.com
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