Category Archives: THE CHILDREN’S WORD

THE CHILDREN’S WORD…The Theotokos gives her life to God

The Entrance into the Temple: The Theotokos gives her life to God

Have you ever been to a baptism (that you can remember)? Or maybe you’ve seen a little baby being brought to the church for the first time when he was only 40 days old? You might remember how special these services are. A little child begins his life in our holy Church!

This week, we celebrate one of the 12 great feasts of our Orthodox Church. On this day, we remember when Mary, the Theotokos, entered the temple. She lived there until she was engaged to Joseph. And not too long after that, baby Jesus was born to her!

On this day too, we remember how Mary began her life, close to God. And she lived her whole life close to God. Even now, she is close to God in heaven.

When you were brought to the church to be baptized, your parents wanted you to be close to God. They prayed for you to be close to God not just on that day, but for all your life! Of course, you don’t have to live on the church grounds to dedicate your life to God. You can try to make good choices that God is happy with too. Let’s use the Theotokos as our example, and always stay close to God and His holy Church!

We celebrate this great feast day on Tuesday, November 21st!

Presvytera Alexandra Houck, myocn

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THE CHILDREN’S WORD…What’s the first Bible story you ever heard?

What’s the first Bible story you ever heard? Maybe it was the parable of the Good Samaritan. Do you remember the story? A man was on a trip, and some robbers beat him up, stole his things, and left him there. Two people went by—and they were people you’d expect to help— but they ignored him. Finally a third person came. Even though he was a foreigner and a stranger from Samaria, he did everything he could to help the poor, beaten-up man. This Samaritan saved his life!

Do you know your neighbours? Sometimes we do, and sometimes we might not. In the story today, Jesus tells somebody to, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself”! The man answered Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?”

Yes, who are our neighbours? Our neighbour is anybody we run into during the day. Sometimes we expect to run into somebody who needs our help, like a friend at school who always asks you for help. Sometimes it’s a surprise! But God wants us to be like the Good Samaritan. He wants us to help anybody who comes our way. Sometimes we help by praying for somebody. Sometimes we help by giving money or food. Sometimes we help by giving somebody our time. When somebody needs our help, let’s ask God to show us the best way. Can you remember that?

Presvytera Alexandra Houck, myocn

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THE CHILDREN’S WORD…Angels: What are they and how can they help me?

Did you know God has some special helpers? They’re called angels! The word “angel” means messenger, because God sends them to give messages to us on earth!

Lots of people say they believe in angels—even people who don’t believe in God. But we’ve all seen pictures of cute little angels flying around with little wings, playing the trumpet or harp. Let’s find out what angels really are!

God has lots of different kinds of angels. They serve God. They follow Him and do things for Him. They don’t have bodies like we do, and they are invisible. The different angels all have different jobs. Some try to help us to have more love for God. Some try to help us learn more about God. Some try to help us be better people—to remember God’s rules and to do them.

Archangels tell good news. Remember Gabriel, who told Mary she was going to have a baby? He is an archangel. In the liturgy, if you listen closely, you will hear about some other angels, the cherubim and seraphim. They bring us wisdom and love. Each one of us also has a guardian angel who protects us. You can pray to your guardian angel! Ask him to watch over you at school, at home, when you’re playing and even sleeping! Ask your parents to find the “Prayer to Your Guardian Angel” for you—in a prayer book or on the internet.

Presvytera Alexandra Houck, myocn

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THE CHILDREN’S WORD…When we are hurt or sick

Can you think of a time you got hurt? Maybe your father or mother gave you a hug and you felt better! In today’s Gospel reading, we hear about how Jesus touched people – and they felt better too! We hear about two miracles that our Lord did to heal people. In the first story, a girl had even died. Her father found Jesus and said, “Come and lay your hand on her and she will live.” Our Lord did just that. He touched the girl, and she did live. He made her better. In the other miracle, a woman had been sick for 12 years. She looked for Jesus too and said, “If I only touch His cloak, I will be made well.” And Jesus made her better too! When we read the Bible, we can find lots of other miracles that our Lord did. Lots of times, he touched the sick person, and healed him or her. He touched them, and they got better.

God wants us to get close to Him. He lets us touch Him and taste even His Body and Blood in Holy Communion. When we receive Holy Communion, we can get better too. Jesus can make us better when our bodies are sick. Our Lord can also make us better when we feel like we are far away from Him, and when we do the wrong thing. God wants to help us and heal us. Let’s come close to Christ, just like the two people in the miracle stories today!

Presvytera Alexandra Houck, myocn

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THE CHILDREN’S WORD…How to be a good friend: St Nestor and St Demetrios

Do you have a good friend? This week we will celebrate one great saint, and the day after, we will celebrate the nameday of his good friend. Long ago, in the city of Thessaloniki, Greece, Christians were not allowed to be Christians. Well, they could be Christians, but they had to do it in secret or they could be hurt or killed.

St. Demetrios was a Christian soldier. He was sent to prison because he wouldn’t worship idols. He said he would only worship our one, true God… the same God that you and I worship! The general, who was in charge of that whole land, held a cruel game sometimes – he would send Christians into a stadium to fight a huge, strong man named Lyaeus.

Another Christian, named Nestor, decided to fight him, even though he wasn’t even close to Lyaeus’s size! Nestor wanted to show that God was on his side. He visited his friend, St. Demetrios, in prison, and asked if he should. St. Demetrios gave him his blessing, and told his friend, Nestor, to always love God.

What wonderful friends St.Demetrios and St. Nestor are! They knew that the best thing they could do was to help each other love God. Can you help your friends do that, too?

Presvytera Alexandra Houck, myocn

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THE CHILDREN’S WORD…Are you listening?

How many times has somebody—a teacher, your mother or father, or even a friend— told you to LISTEN? Sometimes we DO hear something, but that doesn’t mean we are really listening!

In today’s Gospel reading, we hear a story about somebody who goes out to the field to plant seeds. Some seeds never sprout at all. Some seeds sprout at first and then die. But some seeds fall onto good dirt, and they do sprout. They grow and grow and give a good crop.

This story shows how we should hear God’s teachings. The Gospel explains that the seeds that are in the good dirt are the ones who, “hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart.” They hold onto it, because the word of God is something precious!
So it’s easy to hear the word, but we also have to listen. That means in church, or in church school, or when we read our Bibles, or when our parents tell us about Jesus Christ, we listen. We try to take these words about God and put them into our hearts. We try to live the words, and not just hear them. We hold them fast in an honest and good heart.

Presvytera Alexandra Houck, myocn

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THE CHILDREN’S WORD…God doesn’t want sadness!

We’ve all heard sad stories. But in today’s Gospel reading, we hear one of the saddest of all. We hear about a woman whose son had died. She was already a widow—her husband had died. Now her son had died, too. Of course, she was very upset!

When Jesus saw her, He felt sorry for her, too. “Do not weep,” He said. “Don’t cry.” Right then, He touched her son, and he rose up! The boy was alive again! Lots of times, especially when you were little, your parents might have seen you sad or crying. “Don’t cry,” they said. Of course, your parents don’t want you to be sad. Just like your loving parents, God does not want us to be sad either.

But God has given us something to be very happy and joyful about. He gave His own Son, Jesus Christ. He opened up heaven for us, so that one day, we can be in a perfect place forever! “Don’t cry,” God tells us too!

Presvytera Alexandra Houck, myocn.

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