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.
Wouldn’t it be great to spend your whole life relaxing, kicking back, eating good food, and enjoying the easy life? A happy, comfortable, pain-free life. Sounds good at first…but would it really be so good?
Today’s epistle reading is a letter Saint Paul wrote to the people of Corinth. The new Christians there were getting too comfortable. They wanted an easy life, while other people did all the work! In the epistle, we hear Saint Paul telling them how easy life is for them, but how hard it is for the apostles. “For I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last… We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now.” The apostles often felt like they were the lowest people in the world!
Sometimes we might hear other Christians talking about how God will give us the easy life as long as we just pray for it. But we know that life as a Christian can be hard. Just ask Saint Paul! He was hungry, hurt, lost, made fun of, put in prison, and hurt some more. Life definitely wasn’t easy for him.
As Christians, we know God loves us and wants us to be happy. But let’s remember that God wants to give us the joyous, comfortable, pain-free life forever…with Him in heaven!
DORMITION OF THE THEOTOKOS: VISITING GETHSEMANE
Have you ever visited an important place in history? A president’s house or a special monument? Maybe you read about what happened there or learned about why it was so important. Being there makes the story even more special!
Did you know you can visit lots of places that are important to us as Orthodox Christians too? Soon we are going to celebrate the Dormition of the Theotokos, the day Jesus’ mother died and joined her Son in heaven. The apostles were sad that she had died, but they knew that she would be with the Lord again. And we know that she is close to Him so she can pray for us there!
Each year at this time of year, many people visit the Holy Land so they can see the place where the Theotokos left the world. The Orthodox Christians sing hymns together and go through the streets to the church of the Dormition of the Theotokos in Gethsemane (where her tomb was). They follow the icon of her body, and they kiss it at the end of the procession. It is a special thing to walk and pray where the Theotokos really was!
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