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 been afraid of something… but you wanted to see it anyway? Maybe a movie with a scary part? Something in real life even?
Today in the Gospel we hear about a time the disciples were afraid. Today, we celebrate one of the 12 great feasts of our Church—the Transfiguration. That’s the day Christ took three of his disciples up on a high mountain, Mount Tabor. When they got to
the top, Jesus’s face shone like the sun. All of a sudden, His clothes were bright white. Then they saw prophets (Elijah and Moses) who had died many, many years before. They were definitely amazed. These grown men were even afraid! But still, they wanted to be with the Lord. They were afraid, but they didn’t want to leave. St. Peter even wanted to make a special place for them to stay and watch.
On Transfiguration, Jesus showed that He is God. The disciples were so afraid they fell on their faces! But Jesus told them to get up. “Rise and have no fear,” He said. This is how Christ treats us too! He is God and can do anything! But even though He is so powerful, He still tells us not to be afraid. We can still come close to Him. We can still talk to Him in our prayers. We can still ask Him to help us with anything. Rise and have no fear!
APOSTLE MATTHIAS: THE HOLY SPIRIT AT WORK
Have you noticed how many times we ask the Holy Spirit to help us? When we start our prayers at home, we might start with the prayer, “Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth.” (That’s a prayer to the Holy Spirit.) God the Holy Spirit guides us and helps us to pray. He helps us make decisions that are right with God.
The Holy Spirit has guided our Christian Church since the beginning! One of our saints really shows how the Holy Spirit was at work in his own life. You remember Judas, don’t you? He was Jesus’ disciple and friend, but he betrayed our Lord. He was the one who got paid to tell the authorities where Jesus was. Afterwards, Judas died a sad death. The other disciples wanted to replace Judas with another helper. They cast lots (they drew names) and asked God to show them who the right person would be. When they picked Matthias, it was really the Holy Spirit Who chose him to be one of the 12 apostles.
Saint Matthias preached the good news of Christ’s resurrection for the rest of his life. It definitely wasn’t easy for him to do that. Matthias was beaten, thrown in prison, dragged on the ground, and even killed for his love for God. But Matthias followed Christ throughout his life, and he’s still following Him in heaven now!
We celebrate the nameday of Saint Matthias on August 9th (August 22nd, OC).
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