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.
Can you think of something you were really embarrassed about? Maybe it was something that was actually no big deal, like dropping your lunch at school or tripping over your own two feet. But have you ever been embarrassed about bigger things? Like your Christian faith?
In today’s Gospel reading, we hear what Jesus said about being ashamed of your faith. Jesus told the crowds, “Whoever is ashamed of me and of my words….of him will the Son of man also be ashamed, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” In other words, if we are embarrassed or ashamed of our Lord, Jesus Christ, then He will be ashamed of us too! How awful it would be for our Lord to be ashamed of us, to be disappointed in us!
Now, what can we do to make our Lord happy with us? What can we do to make our Lord know we are really His followers? How do you act at school or with your friends? Are you ashamed or embarrassed to be a Christian? Do you act like a Christian even when you are away from your church or family?
Sometimes keeping words from the Bible in your heart can help you make good choices. “Whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of man also be ashamed.” So, don’t be ashamed to be a Christian!
SAINT SOPHIA AND HER THREE DAUGHTERS
What do you think the number one job is for your mother and father? To buy you cool toys? To take you to soccer practice? To make sure you like your dinner?
No…Your parents’ number 1 job is to help you love God—and to try to be like Him! That’s why they try so hard to teach you about Jesus Christ. That’s why they take you to church and try to teach you to be loving and generous.
St. Sophia was one of the best mothers, because she taught her three daughters, Faith, Hope, and Love, just that. She told them that the most important thing they could do was to love God. When the awful Roman authorities tried to tell the girls to worship idols, the girls wouldn’t! They told them they would always follow Christ. The officials then killed the three girls, and they are now happy with Christ forever.
Sophia is a very popular name now for little girls. Her name means “wisdom” in Greek. Being wise means being smart and making the right choices. Saint Sophia was a very wise Christian, and she taught her daughters to be wise Christians too. They had a hard choice to make, and they made the right one. Do you think you can remember St. Sophia’s story?
We celebrate the nameday of Saint Sophia on Sept. 17th (Sept. 30th, OC).
Photo Credit: Holy Cross Orthodox Church
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