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.
Do you like learning how to do things for yourself? Maybe you know how to make a little snack when you come home from school, or maybe you can clean your own laundry. You might have heard your parents tell you, “You have to do some things on your own!”
But as a kid, you still have some things you depend on others for—like if you want to learn about our Lord. Right now, you probably hear about Jesus and about His Church from your parents. Or you might be blessed to have church school each Sunday, when you learn even more. When you are older, you will still want to grow closer to God, but how will you do that?
In today’s Gospel reading, we hear about a man named Zacchaeus. He was the one who climbed up into a tree so he could see Jesus. Zacchaeus wanted to know more about Jesus, so he went out of his way to see Him!
In a way, we are like Zacchaeus too. Sometimes people will tell us about God, but sometimes we have to go out of our way to “see” Him, or to learn more about Him! One great way is by reading your Bible. Do you have your own Bible you can read sometimes? Another great way is by coming to church as much as we can. We can go out of our way too, just like Zacchaeus!
SAINT TIMOTHY: “LET NO ONE DESPISE YOUR YOUTH”
Has anybody ever told you, “You’re too little for that”? Sure! Everybody has heard that. We heard in today’s Gospel reading about a man (Zacchaeus) who was too short to see Jesus, so he climbed a tree to see over the crowds.
Today we celebrate the nameday of Saint Timothy, a man who must have been young to be preaching and teaching about God. Some people might not have wanted to listen to Timothy, just because he was young. Saint Timothy was a helper to Saint Paul, and in fact, today we hear from one of the letters Saint Paul wrote to him.
Saint Paul writes, “Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” In other words, Saint Paul tells Timothy (and us too!) not to worry that he is young. Instead, this young man can show people what it means to be a Christian. He can still be loving, faithful, and pure.
We can all follow Saint Paul’s advice to young Saint Timothy, can’t we? You might be too young for some things in the church, but we can try to be good Christian examples at any age. Just remember, you’re never “too little for that!”
We celebrate the nameday of Saint Timothy today, Sunday, January 22nd.
Photo Credit: Philippine Mission of the Russian Orthodox Church
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