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.
Where are the 9?
This year, did you have a favorite Christmas gift? Did you have a present you still enjoy…but one you didn’t ever say “thank you” for? Sometimes we get so excited about our presents that we forget to say “thank you”! We might go off playing with a toy, but forget to say “thanks.”
Today, we hear about the story of the ten men who had an awful disease. They knew they would be stuck with this disease for the rest of their lives! They knew they would have to live in a special place just for sick people. They knew they could talk only to other sick people, for the rest of their lives.
But our Lord, Jesus Christ came to heal people! He came to help people and to save them. And that day, He came to heal those ten sick men. He did heal them, and now they could go live normal lives again. They received the best gift ever, but sadly, only one man came back to thank Jesus. Christ told him, “Were not ten healed? Where are the nine?”
Do you ever wonder where those other nine men went? Well, they probably went off to enjoy their lives! They probably were so excited with their new gift that they forgot to thank the Giver! Today, can you think of some things you enjoy from God? Can you remember to thank God for them?
SAINT ANTHONY THE GREAT: “Humble yourself”
Have you ever heard of some- body called “the Great”? Alexander the Great conquered huge lands, and he won battles left and right. Wayne Gretsky was called “the Great One.” He was a hockey player who could score goals better than anybody else. Catherine the Great was an empress who made Russia a very powerful country.
But what about a poor man living in the desert? A man who had no money or power? Why does our Orthodox Church call this man, “the Great”?
Saint Anthony once had lots of money, but he sold all of his things and gave his money to the poor. He went out of the city to live in the desert, in Egypt. He left so that he could be close to God, in prayer and by fasting. He remembered what the Bible tells us about being important. It says, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.”
Saint Anthony humbled himself. He tried not to be important and famous and powerful. He knew that God would make him important if He wanted to! We remember Saint Anthony as “the Great” because he is a great saint, and a great example to us!
We celebrate St. Anthony’s nameday today, Sunday, January 17th.
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