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.
What do you do when somebody makes fun of you? What do you say? Usually we say something back that is hurtful too, don’t we?
In the epistle reading today, we hear about what Saint Paul did when people made fun of him and the other apostles. Remember, the apostles went everywhere, telling people about Christ. Lots of times people were mean to them, hating them, and even hurting them! But Saint Paul wrote, “Being reviled (hated), we bless; being persecuted, we endure.”
So, when people hated them and made fun of them and put them down, what did Saint Paul and his helpers do? They blessed those enemies. They gave them the love of God.
One of the saints of our Church, Saint Augustine, once said, “Every sin is more injury to him who does, than to him who suffers it.” That means that when somebody does something wrong to us, it hurts him even more than it hurts us! Saint Paul knew that too. Always remember, it’s better to give back love than to give back something hurtful!
SAINT ALEXANDER THE FIRST PATRIARCH OF CONSTANTINOPLE
Do you think God cares what we believe? If you asked Saint Alexander, he would tell you, “Yes! Definitely!”
Saint Alexander was a holy bishop who lived 1,700 years ago. He went to the First Ecumenical Council, a big meeting where the
Church leaders agreed on what we Christians believed. One man, named Arius, was telling other Christians that Jesus wasn’t
really God, and that He wasn’t equal to God the Father. Saint Alexander knew that wasn’t right. Arius tried to trick the leaders, and he told them he really believed the same thing. Saint Alexander knew it was a trick, and he asked God to make it so Arius would not be received into the Church. And he wasn’t.
Another time, Saint Alexander was arguing with somebody who was a pagan (who worshiped idols). Saint Alexander said, “In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, I command you to be quiet!” Suddenly the pagan man couldn’t speak! No sound would come out! Then the man showed with his hands that he no longer believed that stuff, and his speech came back.
Let’s thank Saint Alexander for his Christian bravery. He teaches us that God really does care what we believe!
We celebrate the feastday of Saint Alexander on Tuesday, August 30th.
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