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 wanted to learn more about somebody? Maybe you heard about a famous basketball player, and you watched lots of his games just to see more. Or maybe you wanted to know more about an astronomer or some hero in history. Did you check out books from the library so you could learn more?
Today, in the Gospel reading, we hear about a person who wanted to know more about somebody. It was Zacchaeus, the short man who climbed a tree so he could see Jesus passing by. The Bible says Zacchaeus “wanted to see who Jesus was,” so he did everything he could to see Jesus, to know more about Him.
Did you know something? Our Lord wants us to know more about Him, just like Zacchaeus did! And how can we do that? One way is by reading our Bibles. Do you have a Bible you can read? Can you ask your parents to read to you sometimes?
One of the saints of our Church, Saint Tikhon, tells us, “Whenever you read the Gospel, Christ Himself is speaking to you. And while you read, you are praying and talking to Him.” So when you read your Bible, you can see who Jesus is…just like Zacchaeus did!
LET YOUR SERVANT DEPART: The Presentation of the Lord into the Temple
Have you ever heard somebody say, “I’ve seen it all!”? Usually it means that person has seen something really surprising, something he’s never seen before.
On Tuesday, we will celebrate a Great Feast. It’s called the Presentation of the Lord into the Temple. When Jesus was 40 days old, He was carried into the Temple, because that was the law.
An old man named Simeon was there at the Temple. He held the baby Jesus in his arms, and he blessed God. Then Simeon said these words, “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word. For my eyes have seen your salvation.” Simeon had been waiting all his life to see the person who would save the world! And he could see that Jesus (even as a tiny baby) was that person. Simeon was a very old man, but he knew he would not die until he had seen the Savior!
That holy man, Simeon, was kind of saying, “I have seen it all now!” He had seen what he had been waiting for. Now he could “depart in peace.” He was happy and peaceful because he knew God had come to save the world!
We celebrate the Feast of the Presentation on Tuesday, February 2nd.
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