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 five small children: Lydia, Paul, Silas, Philip, and Sarah. Presvytera Alexandra grew up attending Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Asheville, North Carolina with her nine siblings.
Have you ever heard somebody say, “You haven’t seen anything yet!” Maybe you saw a show or a play or a performance, and you were so impressed with the first part. “You haven’t seen anything yet!” somebody might say. Just wait and see what’s next!
Today in the Gospel reading, we hear the story of how Jesus called some of His disciples to Him. Philip told his friend Nathaniel to come meet Jesus. But before Nathaniel could meet Him, Jesus seemed to already know him. Then Nathaniel was really impressed! “How do you know me?” he asked. Jesus answered him, “You will see greater things than these!”
Nathaniel went on to be one of Jesus’ close followers, His disciple. He saw Jesus do so many miracles—healing people, feeding crowds of people, even raising people from the dead! But still, those miracles were nothing compared to the greatest miracle of all—when Christ rose from the dead. “You will see greater things than these!” Jesus told Nathaniel. In other words, “You haven’t seen anything yet!”
Today is the first Sunday of Lent. These words in the Gospel today remind us what is coming. At the end of Lent, we will see “the greatest thing” of all—our Lord’s glorious Resurrection!
40 CROWNS FOR 40 MARTYRS: THE 40 HOLY MARTYRS OF SEBASTE
Have you ever had to make a tough choice about something? Do you think you made the right decision?
Once there were 40 Christian soldiers in the Roman army. They told everybody they were Christians, even though they knew the emperor did not like Christians. They knew the emperor had even killed Christians in the past. In fact, one of the authorities found out about these 40 Christian soldiers, and sent them to stand, naked, in a frozen pond. Sadly, he wanted them to freeze to death there.
The pond was freezing cold, but next to it were some nice comfortable warm baths. The official tried to tempt these Christian men by telling them that if they would just say they were not Christian, they could come out of the pond and into these warm baths. But they stayed in the frozen pond, because they would rather die than to deny Christ. Finally, one of the soldiers did leave the frozen pond, but another soldier (who was not Christian) took his place. He saw how strong these 39 men were in their faith, and wanted to be like them.
Now here is the tough choice: What would YOU do? Would you leave the frozen pond? Or would you stay with the other 39 Christian soldiers?
We celebrate the nameday of these great saints this Thursday, March 9th.
Photo Credit: goarch.org
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