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 have probably looked at “I-Spy” books, or maybe “Where’s Waldo,” haven’t you? You stare at a page with all kinds of pictures, and then you have to pick out something there, like a key or an apple, or Waldo himself. Sometimes you might look at the page for a long time, searching for your object.
In today’s Gospel reading we hear about how we have to try to search for Christ sometimes. Where? We search for Him in other people, in those around us! The Gospel tells us that when we help other people, we are helping Christ too. When we ignore other people, we are hurting Christ.
The hard part is that we can search and search and search, and we still won’t see Christ—well, not like He looks in the icons in our church. When somebody comes to us for help, we have to look at that person and search to see Christ. But how? We know that every person is made in the image of God. That means that we are all like God, in some way.
When we know somebody needs help, remember that God made that person, and He made him in His image. When we search and find God, then we want to help, don’t we?
40 CROWNS FOR 40 MARTYRS: The 40 holy martyrs of Sebaste
Do you like being cold? You might not mind it if you know you can come inside and have some hot chocolate. But nobody wants to just stand out in the terrible cold.
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 turn against 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.
What would YOU do? Would you leave the frozen pond? Or would you stay with the other 39 Christian soldiers?
We celebrate the day of the 40 martyrs on Wednesday, March 9th.
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