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 message for somebody? “She’s not here right now. May I take a message?” you might say. Then when you have a chance, you spread the news, whatever you heard on the phone.
In today’s epistle reading, we hear how Saint Paul had a very important message to pass along. Saint Paul writes, “I would have you know that the gospel which was preached by me is not man’s gospel. For I did not receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ.” The message of Jesus Christ wasn’t something Saint Paul made up, or just a story. It was a message that God wanted him to spread to anybody who would listen! Saint Paul—like many of the apostles—spent so many years of his life spreading that message that God gave.
God’s message is a message that we can pass along too! We know the truth—that Jesus Christ died and rose from the dead. We know that He wants the whole world to be saved and to live with Him in heaven forever. Let’s remember that that good news is not man’s message. It is a message from God, and we can spread it too!
SAINT JAMES: THE BROTHER OF THE LORD
Sometimes, when we hear about somebody famous, we want to know all about his or her family too. If you hear about a famous athlete or a movie star, you might want to know how he grew up or what his family is like.
We love Jesus Christ very much, so how can we not want to know about his brother too? Well, we call him Jesus’ brother, but we know that Mary the Holy Theotokos did not have any more children after Jesus. Saint James, the Brother of the Lord, was actually the son of Joseph, who took care of Jesus and Mary.
Saint James was full of love for God, even before he knew Jesus. Later on, after Christ’s holy Resurrection, James went out to spread the news. He was the first bishop of Jerusalem. We can read the letter of Saint James in the Bible. In it, this saint gives us lots of important advice. One of the best bits of advice is about how we should use our mouths. Sometimes we use it for praying to God, and other times we use it to be mean to other people, to put people down. “Out of the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things should not be so,” Saint James wrote.
Let’s follow Saint James’s example, and use our mouths to bless God!
We celebrate the feastday of St. James today, October 23rd.
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