The Cayman Islands are within the ancient Episcopal Jurisdiction

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

www.churchofenglandcayman.com

rector@churchofenglandcayman.com

11 December 2016

Welcome to St Alban’s Anglican Church

Today's Scripture: Isaiah 35: 1-10     James 5: 7-10     S. Matthew 11: 2-11

Today: 8.35 am Matins; 9am Church School; 9.30 am HOLY EUCHARIST; 6pm EP

This Week: Tues - Fri 12.30 pm Midday Prayer, Thurs 5 pm Evening Prayer foll. by Church Council Meeting.

Next Sunday: 8.35am Matins; 9am Ch School; 9.30 am HOLY EUCHARIST; 6pm EP foll. by Carolling at Pines and GT Hospital.


3rd Sunday In Advent

O Lord Jesus Christ, who at thy first coming didst send thy messenger to prepare thy way before thee: Grant that the ministers and stewards of thy mysteries may likewise so prepare and make ready thy way, by turning the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, that at thy second coming to judge the world we may be found an acceptable people in thy sight, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end.


FAITH IN FOCUS: RAISING EXPECTATIONS

Non-religious people sometimes assume that Christians are consumed with a religion of fear. Perhaps it was true for some Christians decades ago that their own religious upbringing was characterised by the fear of punishment. “Wait till your father gets home” was even perhaps transferred into threats about what would happen when God came to judge the living and the dead.

If this were true, then Advent would be a miserable season. It would be the time when we all prayed with our lips for the coming of Christ but in our hearts we hoped that it would not be during our lifetime.

Should we be tempted to go along with this in our own practice of faith, then today’s scripture ought to make us think twice. For it forms part of the “Gaudete Sunday” (“Rejoicing”) Advent message: the coming of our God is something to yearn for rather than to dread. We are encouraged to rejoice because our God will come not for the primary purpose of condemnation, but to set us free. It’s a prize to be grasped, not a plague to be shunned. Advent is not a palliative against the futility of existence; it’s an endorsement of the very meaning of life. It’s a period of great expectations, for when Christ comes, it is to bring fullness of life.

Isaiah tells us that the coming of our God is like an oasis in the desert, like a cure for those who are crippled and struck down. And Jesus’ words to John the Baptist remind us that if we want to know whether God really is close by, then we only need to look around us and see the wonders that can happen when the Good News is proclaimed.

And this coming of our God is not merely some distant thing in the future that can have no effect on our lives today. God comes every day. We meet Christ in those whose lives touch ours, both friend and stranger. He looks out on us through the eyes of our smiling grandchildren as much as the tears of the widow and orphan.

The coming of our God is expected as an awesome reality, certainly. Yet it is something to look forward to eagerly, both now and at the end of time.

WORD OF GOD

Look, your God is coming -

he is coming to save you. (Isaiah 35:4)


WORD FOR TODAY

Today’s a day for rejoicing. Known as “Gaudete Sunday” (from the Latin word for “rejoice”) it is Advent’s midpoint when we pause to recollect that the coming of our God is something which should bring us joy. To be a Christian is to await the coming of a God whose desire is to save rather than condemn.



GOOD PEOPLE DO NOT NEED LAWS to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws. (Plato)


THIS WEEK'S READINGS

Mon: Isaiah 49: 14-25, 1 Thess 5: 1-11, Matt 16: 13-end

Tues: Isaiah 50, 1 Thess 5: 12-end, Matthew 17: 1-13

Wed: Isaiah 51: 1-8, 2 Thessalonians 1, Matt17: 14-21

Thurs: Isaiah 51: 9-16, 2 Thess 2, Matt 17: 22-end

Fri: Isaiah 51: 17-end, 2 Thess 3, Matthew 18: 1-20

Sat: Isaiah 52: 1-12, Jude, Matthew 18: 21-end

NEXT SUNDAY: Isaiah 7: 10-16, Romans 1: 1-7, S. Matthew 1: 18-end