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.
You’ve asked your parents for things, haven’t you? A snack, some water, some new shoes, permission to go to a friend’s house. You ask for things all the time. They probably say, “yes,” most of the time. But let’s say you ask them if you can eat the whole bag of cookies, or if you can climb up on the roof with a chainsaw. Well, probably not. Your parents, and other grownups, look out for you. They don’t want you to ask for the wrong things.
Today, in the Gospel reading, we hear about how two of Jesus’ followers asked for the wrong thing. James and John were walking along with their teacher, Jesus Christ. They asked Him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” These two brothers wanted Jesus to let them be powerful and important in heaven! That’s a big thing to ask for! Jesus told them that being with Him in heaven “is for those for whom it has been prepared.” In other words, Jesus didn’t want to promise them a special place in heaven. God would decide that…not James and John!
God wants us to ask Him for help and things we need. But let’s always try to ask for the right things, the things that will bring us closer to God. Sometimes we might try to ask for things that will make us look good (like praying for us to win a game, or praying to have the coolest toy). Let’s pray for things that we need to bring us closer to our Lord!
THE GREATEST TREASURE Saint Alexandra, The Empress
Have you ever wanted to be super rich and famous? Maybe you day-dreamed about how great it would be to have tons and tons of money, and to walk around with people staring at you, or even bowing down! Well, on Thursday, we celebrate the name day of a person who had all that. Alexandra had the most valuable treasures in the world, because she was the emperor’s wife. Sadly though, her husband, Emperor Diocletian, was a cruel and evil man who hated Christians. Lots of times, he would try to think of ways to get rid of all the Christians in the empire. Alexandra wasn’t a Christian, but she saw how awfully the Christians were treated.
She even saw how one brave soldier, Saint George, refused to give up his Christian faith…even when the emperor told him he would be killed! Saint Alexandra saw this brave man, and she decided she wanted to be a Christian too. She saw that all her money and power didn’t mean anything! She wanted to really have the greatest treasure…to be with Jesus Christ in heaven! When she said that she believed in Christ, her husband was so angry that he even decided to punish his own wife. Saint Alexandra was killed two days before her teacher, Saint George. Now they are saints together, with the treasure of heaven!
We celebrate the nameday of St. Alexandra on Thursday, April 21st.
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