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 five small children: Lydia, Paul, Silas, Philip, and Sarah. Presvytera Alexandra grew up attending Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Asheville, North Carolina with her nine siblings.
Have you ever taken a test? Sometimes you might have some hard questions to answer. Some of them might be kind of easy. And on a test, sometimes the hard ones and the easy ones might be all mixed up together.
The gospel reading today tells us about the hard things and the easy thing we must do if we want to be good followers of Christ. The gospel says, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them…But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High.”
So the easy thing is to love people who love us! The easy thing is to do good to those who do good to us. The easy thing is to give to people who give things back to us. That’s the easy thing. We can do that!
The hard thing is to love our enemies, to do good to people who are mean to us, to give to people who might not give us anything back. God wants us to do the easy things, of course. (You’re nice to your friends, aren’t you?) But God wants us to do the hard things, too. God wants us to be nice to our enemies and to people who aren’t so nice to us. You can show you are a Christian by doing the hard things!
APOSTLE ANANIAS: ONE OF THE SEVENTY APOSTLES
You know Saint Paul, don’t you? He is one of the greatest saints the Church ever had! Why? Because he worked so hard to help the Church grow and grow. But did you know Saint Paul once worked against the Church? He even hurt some of the first Christians because he thought they were doing the wrong thing! Saint Paul turned around and soon became one of the greatest helpers for the Church. But he couldn’t make that change by himself.
Today we remember another saint, the Apostle Ananias. He helped Saint Paul change his life to follow Christ! He heard about Paul in a vision, and he put his hands on him, and he baptized him. Even Saint Paul needed somebody else to help him grow close to Christ. He couldn’t do it by himself.
When we are part of the Church, we depend on each other. We need each other to help us grow close to our Lord! Saint Paul needed Ananias to help him grow close to the Lord too.
Even as a kid, you know, you are a full member of the Church. What can you do to help others grow closer to Christ? How can you help another person know the Lord even better?
We celebrate the nameday of Saint Ananias on Oct. 1st (Oct. 14th, OC).
Photo credit: The WORD Among Us
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