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 known somebody who did the right thing in front of a teacher or other grownup, but then did the wrong thing when the grown-up wasn’t looking? Maybe he should have gotten in trouble for something, but the teacher never even noticed!
In today’s Gospel reading, we hear about the same kind of thing. Tomorrow is the first day of Great Lent, and the Gospel is telling us how to behave during . The reading says we should not show off that we are fasting, but instead we should keep it a secret. We show our fasting and our good works “only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
All the things we do during Lent are good—eating special foods, giving to the poor, reading the Bible, going to church, helping others. All those things are great! But let’s say we tell people about them, and we show off about them, and then we are mean to people behind their backs! Then we’re like the kid who acts great to the teacher but does wrong things when the teacher isn’t even noticing.
This Lent, let’s try to keep things to ourselves…and God, of course, who sees all these wonderful things in secret!
Aaron the High Priest: Brother of Moses
You remember Moses from the Bible, don’t you? You probably remember how he was put in a basket as a baby, and how he brought the Israelites out of Egypt, and especially about how God gave him the Ten Commandments for us all to follow.
Do you know his brother though? Do you know Aaron? The Bible tells us that Aaron was Moses’s older brother. Aaron helped Moses, because Moses had many gifts but he was not a good speaker. His brother Aaron spoke for Moses—to the people and also to the pharaoh (king) of Egypt.
When we think of Saint Aaron, we think of priests. That’s because God said that Aaron would be a Jewish priest, and his sons and their sons and so on, would also be priests. They would be God’s holy helpers in the Temple.
If you read the book of Exodus in the Bible, you will read more stories about Aaron, too. You’ll find that he didn’t always do the right thing, and he didn’t always do what God wanted (just like us!). But God knew that he was a holy man, and God didn’t give up on him. He helped him be right in the end.
We celebrate St. Aaron on Tuesday, Mar. 12th (March 25th, OC).
Welcome to “The Children’s Word,” a weekly ministry of the Orthodox Christian Network. Each week, Presvytera Alexandra Houck writes this little newsletter for young parishioners! You will find age-appropriate articles, stories, and activities in every edition. The newsletter is provided in PDF format so that you can easily download and print it, and share it with your parish, church school, homeschool, family, and friends.
Each issue includes a message on the Sunday Gospel lesson and on one of the saints for the week. You’ll also find a coloring page and other activities. It is designed for a 8.5 x 14 page, so it can be printed and folded.
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