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 watched construction vehicles building a road? Have you watched as they break up the ground, and put down materials, and smooth it all out? The construction trucks make a path for us to use, to get us to where we want to go.
Today’s epistle reading tells us how our Lord went before us too. He went before us so that we could go down His same path. The epistle says we want to take the “hope set before us.” As Christians, what is our greatest hope? Our hope is to go to heaven, to live with Christ, to be with Him forever in peace. The epistle tells us that our Lord has already gone there! “Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf.” A forerunner is somebody who goes before.
Let’s always remember that our Lord, Jesus Christ, isn’t only God. He is also a man, and He went before us. He lived here so He could know us and understand us. He died before us, and He went to heaven before us. He did this so He could get a path ready for us. God wanted to help us to get to where we want to go…and where is that? Life in heaven forever!
CLIMBING THE LADDER: ST. JOHN CLIMACUS
Now, we’re more than halfway finished with Great Lent! Today is the 4th Sunday, when we remember St. John Climacus. St. John was a monk who wrote an important (but very hard to read!) book. In this book, he gave advice about how we can go up the ladder—to heaven! (That’s what Climacus means— “of the ladder.”)
At first, St. John’s book was meant only for monks, men who live their whole lives in a special place to grow close to God. But now we know this book can be helpful for all of us Christians! That’s because St. John wrote how we Christians must always be trying harder and harder to grow closer to Christ. That’s our goal.
Maybe one day, when you’re older, you’ll have a chance to read and study his book. But for today, let’s remember one thing he wrote: “Do not be surprised that you fall every day; do not give up, but stand your ground courageously. And truly, your guardian angel will honor your patience.”
So remember, as YOU are trying every day to climb the ladder to grow closer to our Lord—you’re going to make mistakes! But as St. John tells us, don’t give up! Be brave and try harder next time! Isn’t it nice to know that holy saints made mistakes too? They fell, but stood up again!
We celebrate St. John today, the fourth Sunday of Lent.
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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