Do people ever ask you about your family? Do you have brothers or sisters? Where
did you grow up? What do your parents do for jobs? These kinds of things can tell a lot about you! But did you ever stop to think about Jesus’ family? Who were they?
Today in the Gospel we hear about Jesus’ family on earth. You know, Mary was His mother. You know, God asked Joseph to take care of Mary and the Baby. The Bible tells us about where they lived during Jesus’s childhood. Then we hear about another part of Jesus’ family in the Epistle today. It talks about “James, the brother of the Lord.” A brother? James was probably a cousin, or a son of Joseph. You can see all four of them in the icon.
You can see Jesus’ family traveling together. But do you know that you are part of Jesus’ family, too?
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Mary, the holy theotokos What’s a “synaxis”? Have you ever played a little game, “What does it make you think of?” When you say a word, the other person has to think of a word it makes him think about. So, if you heard “dog,” you might say “cat.” If you heard “king,” you might say“queen” or “crown” or “throne.” When we think about Christmas and the birth of Jesus Christ, we can’t help but think about one other person, too. Who? Well, Mary, the Mother of God, of course!
Yesterday, we celebrated the Nativity, the birth of Christ. But today, the feast continues! We celebrate His mother. In our Church, we call it the “synaxis” of the Theotokos. That word, synaxis, means “coming together.” For many, many years, faithful Christians came together to celebrate some more. They came together to honor the person who made that day happen.