of The Bishop of London granted him by the Crown in 1634
St Alban’s (Grand Cayman) & St Mary’s (Cayman Brac)
Church & Office - 461 Shedden Road
P O Box 719, Grand Cayman KY1-1103, CAYMAN ISLANDS
Tel (345) 949 2757
4 December 2016
Welcome to St Alban’s Anglican Church
Today's Scripture: Isaiah 11: 1-10 Romans 15: 4-13 S. Matthew 3: 1-12
Today: 8.35 am Matins & Litany; 9am Church School; 9.30 am HOLY EUCHARIST; 6pm EP
This Week: Tues - Fri 12.30 pm Midday Prayer; Sat 10 am Prison Ministry
Next Sunday: 8.35am Matins & Lit.; 9am Ch School; 9.30 am HOLY EUCHARIST; 6pm EP
Blessed Lord, who hast caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant that we may in such wise hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience and comfort of thy holy Word, we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which thou hast given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ.
FAITH IN FOCUS: DOES IT BITE?
A pet-shop owner was explaining recently that small children have no fear whatsoever of snakes, lizards or any other reptiles. Fear is something they learn from adults. Parents are regularly heard, he said, telling their small children to come away from “that horrible thing” and look at the puppies instead.
Advent is a time when we learn the lesson of the pet-shop. We are given a vision of what God intended the world to be and we are reminded that it is up to us to co-operate with God’s grace to share in his work of building up once more a kingdom in which lions and calves, wolves and lambs have no fear of each other.
When the bible comes to explain this phenomenon it points to the early days when the created world was at harmony, to the days of paradise when men and women enjoyed fully the life that God had created them for. It was our own greed and disobedience of God that caused us to become creators, but creators of sin, conflict, division and misery. We were born into such a world, but we have all co-operated in keeping it far from perfect by the way we behave.
So Advent invites us to act and to change things. John the Baptist plunged into the Jordan those who wanted to change themselves and to transform the world. He preached a baptism for those who were ready to repent, to smooth out the rocky paths of their lives and prepare for the coming of the promised Messiah, Jesus the Christ.
That’s why Advent is about waiting for the coming of our redeemer, but not about waiting idly as if for a bus to come. It’s a time when at our liturgy we celebrate the mystery of God’s coming among us to show us how to live and be fulfilled, how to create a world where fear and hatred, sin and division have no permanent hold.
When we gather together to hear God’s word and to share the food of life at the table of the Lord, we ask that the Holy Spirit may embolden us to take practical steps towards repentance and reconciliation.
Advent not only teaches us that life can be better; it gives us the means to make it so.
WORD OF GOD
The wolf lives with the lamb;
the panther lies down with the kid,
calf and lion cub feed together
with a little boy to lead them. (Isaiah 11:6)
WORD FOR TODAY
Advent is a time for putting things right if we are to welcome Jesus into our midst. Isaiah paints a picture of a world that can be free from conflict; St Paul urges us to be united in mind and voice; and John the Baptist tells us to smooth out our lives. The message couldn’t be plainer.
GRANT ME chastity and continence, but not yet.
(Augustine - prior to conversion)
DEEP LEVEL CHANGE isn’t going to happen just because you know something in your head. Being effective at “changing your mind” requires taking steps to train your heart that it is right, good, and safe to turn and draw near to God. You have to take steps to calm your fears and build your faith. You have to become a teacher and your own heart has to become your student. By this, you can change from the inside out. (Jacinto Caudrelier)
THIS WEEK'S READINGS
Mon: Isaiah 45: 14-end, 1 Thess 1, Matthew 14: 1-12
Tues: Isaiah 46, 1 Thess 2: 1-12, Matthew 14: 13-end
Wed: Isaiah 47, 1 Thess 2: 13-end, Matt 15: 1-20
Thurs: Isaiah 48: 1-11, 1 Thess 3, Matt 15: 21-28
Fri: Isaiah 48: 12-end, 1 Thess 4: 1-12, Matt 15: 29-end
Sat: Isa 49: 1-13, 1 Thess 4: 13-end, Matt 16: 1-12
NEXT SUNDAY: Isaiah 35: 1-10, James 5: 7-10, S. Matthew 11: 2-11