The Children’s Word: Making progress!

The Children’s Word: Making progress!


If you are in school, you might have gotten something called a “progress report.” Your teacher shows your parents how well you are doing in math or reading or spelling or even at getting along with others. Your teacher always wants you to “progress” or get better.

Today is the 4th Sunday of Lent. Today we remember a Saint John who wrote a book about a ladder to heaven. It isn’t a real ladder, of course, but it is a way to see if we Christians are making progress, to see if we are growing closer to Christ in heaven.

We can ask ourselves if we are growing closer to Christ. Are we really trying to stop doing the wrong things, and start doing the right things? Or are we stuck with bad habits?

The funny thing is that all Christians can make progress. All Christians can move forward to Christ…not just kids, but also very, very old people. Not just school kids, but mothers and fathers, priests and bishops, and monks and nuns. We can all keep growing closer to Christ. We can all keep progressing!

Let’s always think about that. What would a progress report say about us?

THE STRONGEST FAITH Saint Martin, Bishop of Rome

When we come together for Liturgy each week, we say the Creed together, don’t we? We say out loud what we Orthodox Christians believe.

On Wednesday, we celebrate the nameday of somebody who said out loud what we believe…but he was hurt again and again for that. Sometimes, he was even so hungry and thirsty, but still Saint Martin wouldn’t stop saying the truth.

Saint Martin (who was the bishop of Rome, Italy) lived many years ago, and he died in the year 655. At that time, the emperor wanted all the Christians to believe something about Jesus Christ that just wasn’t true. In fact, it was a heresy (a heresy is a belief that goes against the truth)!

The emperor was so angry that he even sent somebody to kill this saint! But something kept the person from doing this awful thing, and he was even blinded on the way back home. Again and again, the emperor did such cruel things to Saint Martin. Finally, the emperor sent Martin to be a prisoner on a little island, and he gave him hardly any food or water. Saint Martin never gave up saying the truth about Christ. He is called a “Confessor” because he was hurt for believing in Christ. (A martyr is somebody who died for believing in Christ.) Always remember—God wants us to stick up for the truth, and Saint Martin did just that!

We celebrate the nameday of St. Martin on Wednesday, April 13th.

Click here to download your free copy of The Children’s Word.


The Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) is an official agency of the Assembly of Canonical Bishops of the United States of America, originally commissioned by SCOBA to create a national, sustainable, and effective media witness for Orthodox Christianity throughout North America. In a constantly changing media landscape, OCN delivers positive, relevant Orthodox content via multiple delivery platforms, reaching today’s internet users via broadcast, video, blogging, and webinar content.

This 501(c)3 is recognized as a leader in the Orthodox Media field and has sustained consistent growth over twenty years. OCN shares the timeless faith of Orthodoxy with the contemporary world through modern media. We are on a mission to inspire Orthodox Christians Worldwide. We have reached 5.7 Million People in One Week. Much like public radio, the Orthodox Christian Network relies on the support of our listeners, readers, and fans. If you are interested in supporting our work, you can send your gift by direct mail, over the phone, or on our website. Your gift will ensure that OCN may continue to offer free, high-quality, theological media.


Spark OCN app is an Orthodox Christian News portal that allows you to take action. Spark provides daily devotions, live Bible study, and you can read and learn about events going on in the Orthodox Christian world, especially those concerning persecuted Christians. In addition to making it easy to share news and articles with friends, Spark allows you make prayer requests for those who are suffering.

Orthodox Prayer Book is the ultimate prayer assistant for Orthodox Christians. Not only does it allow you to carry your prayers around, it was designed from the ground-up for the iPhone to allow you to pray in the least distracting manner possible. Carry all the prayers, information about daily saints and fasting schedules with you throughout your day. Keep a list of people you want to pray for and have them automatically embedded into the prayers.

Click here to download the Spark OCN and Orthodox Prayer Book.

Posted by the Orthodox Christian Network. OCN is on Social Media! Follow us on Twitter,FacebookYouTubeGoogle+, and Pinterest

About author

Presvytera Alexandra Houck

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.