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.
Let’s say your parents have a little treat for you and a sibling—candy, or cookies, or a surprise. Usually they divide them up evenly, don’t they? Three for you, and three for your brother or sister. Ten for you, and ten for another. That seems fair, doesn’t it?
In today’s Gospel reading, we hear a story that might not seem so fair…at first. In the story, a man goes on a trip, and he wants his servants to take care of his things. He gives a lot of money to one of his servants, a medium amount to another, and just a little bit to another. The man wants the servants to take care of that money.
After a while, the man comes back from his trip. He asks his servants what happened to the money. The first two servants took care of the money, and they even made more money with it. The third one had just hidden the money, and he gave him back the same amount. The master was angry with this third one.
This story has another meaning, of course. God gives us all different gifts. Some people can do really amazing things. Some people can just do simple things. Some people have a lot. Some people have almost nothing! But God wants us each to use what we have. He wants us to take care of the things He has given us. He wants us to do the best we can with them. God doesn’t always give an even amount of gifts, but He wants us to use what we have the best way we can!
St. Luke the Righteous “God Provides”
We’ve all seen beautiful icons, but you can find some of the most amazing ones in the whole world at a monastery in the middle of Greece. This monastery is called “Osios Loukas,” and it is named after St. Luke. (This is a different saint than the one who wrote one of the Gospels. This saint was born in 896, about 1,100 years ago.)
St. Luke the Righteous tried to love God and to trust in Him even when he was little. He came from a poor family, and he worked very hard to help his family. He worked in the fields and he took care of sheep, staying outside in really bad weather. Still, he helped other poor people too. One time, he gave away all the seeds that he was supposed to plant in the fields. He knew that God would take care of him. But what happened? The fields gave more and better crops than St. Luke had ever seen before!
Lots of times, you can see how much people love a person by how they honor him or her. In America, you see some of the greatest monuments to George Washington and some of the presidents. But you can see that the people really love St. Luke the Righteous because his monastery is SO beautiful.
We celebrate St. Luke on Thursday, February 7th (Feb 20, OC).
Welcome to “The Children’s Word,” a weekly ministry of the Orthodox Christian Network. Each week, Presvytera Alexandra Houck writes this little newsletter for young parishioners! You will find age-appropriate articles, stories, and activities in every edition. The newsletter is provided in PDF format so that you can easily download and print it, and share it with your parish, church school, homeschool, family, and friends.
Each issue includes a message on the Sunday Gospel lesson and on one of the saints for the week. You’ll also find a coloring page and other activities. It is designed for a 8.5 x 14 page, so it can be printed and folded.
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