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 read a really great book…and then read a sequel to it, too? It’s wonderful when the story continues!
Today, we say, “Christ is risen!” and we hear the gospels about how Jesus’ disciples found the empty tomb. But what happened next? Well, now we can read ahead. The story doesn’t stop there, does it?
In the Bible, we can find eleven stories about the risen Lord. Eleven stories about what happened next! One of the best stories tells about how Jesus appeared to two of His disciples. They were walking to a nearby town, and they were very sad, because Jesus had died and had left them. While they were walking, Jesus came and walked with them! (But they didn’t know it was Jesus.) Our Lord explained the parts of the Bible to them—the parts in the Old Testament that showed what was going to happen. Then they had dinner together, and when Jesus broke bread with them, they knew it was the Lord!
Then the disciples were just overjoyed to know that Christ had really risen! They said, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us, while He talked with us?” Today, and every day, we can let our hearts burn with love for the Lord. We can be overjoyed too that Christ has really risen!
THE EASTER EGG: WHERE DOES IT COME FROM?
Have you ever wondered why we have Easter eggs?
Well, for one thing, we haven’t seen too many eggs in our kitchens during the Lenten fast. On Pascha, our priest will even say a prayer to bless the eggs and cheese and meat, so we can all enjoy them after the long fast!
Easter eggs have been around for many many years. In Mesopotamia, the early Christians celebrated Pascha with eggs. Christian children would collect eggs and dye them red, to remember the blood of Christ. (They would also sell green and yellow ones at the market!) This custom spread throughout the Christian world, and you can find red eggs in Greece and other Orthodox countries. You can even dye the eggs with onion skins to make them red! In Russia and other Eastern European countries, people decorate the eggs beautifully with Christian symbols (like crosses and fish and grapes).
Now, of course, you can find all kinds of Easter egg colors and even plastic eggs. These customs are fun and festive, aren’t they? But underneath, we always know that the day is about more than just Easter eggs and candy and food. Christ rose from the dead to save us!
Christ is risen! Truly He is risen!
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