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
Welcome to St Alban’s Anglican Church
Today's Scripture: Zephaniah 3: 14- end Philippians 4: 4-7 S. Luke 3: 7-18
Today: 8.35am Matins; 9am Ch Sch; 9.30 am HOLY EUCHARIST; 6 pm E.P.
This Week: Tues 5.30 pm Church Council Meets; Tues-Fri 12.30 pm Midday Prayers.
Next Sunday: 8.35am Matins ; 9am Ch Sch; 9.30 am HOLY EUCHARIST; 6 pm E.P;
Third 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: HAPPY AND GLORIOUS
Was it easier for the first Christians to have that sense of expectancy about the return of Jesus at the second coming? They were closer to him in time, and the sense of urgency was more pronounced. 2000 years later we have to make an effort to remind ourselves that the second coming is something real and not just a fairy tale.
The early Church felt that the Lord was very near and his return was imminent. So St Paul exhorts them to be happy at all times. This happiness is not just a pleasant feeling. It’s real joy, and joy is a much deeper thing than happiness.
When a grandmother is given a birthday present by a grandchild, she feels happy at the gift. But deep down she feels a more profound emotion. She feels a warmth, a sense of wellbeing, a glow of pride at having brought up her family and been given strength to see them grow to maturity. A pride and satisfaction that is symbolised in the action of the young child. If the gift breaks she will feel unhappy, but that deeper joy cannot be so easily shattered.
That’s the difference between happiness and joy. Oddly enough, you can experience joy even when you are unhappy. And as we wait for the final coming of Jesus, as we celebrate Advent, we are urged like the early Church to shout for joy, to rejoice, to exult and share in God’s glory.
Our faith does not change what happens to us in life. We do not embark on an Advent pretence that all is rosy in our world, that happiness is on every street corner. But what our faith does allow to do is to view things in a broader perspective. Christ came, and will come again, to set us free, to liberate us from despair and futility. If we really believe this, then we carry around with us a joy that the world cannot understand and which can never be taken away from us.
Advent stands as a sign that Christ is Lord of all creation, of all situations. We do not simply look forward to the crib and the carol service. On this “Gaudete” (Rejoice) Sunday we expect a final visitation that will vindicate the whole reason for our Christian existence. And that’s the reason for our joy.
WORD OF GOD
The Lord has repealed your sentence;
he has driven your enemies away.
The Lord, the king of Israel, is in your midst;
you have no more evil to fear. (Zephaniah 3:15)
WORD FOR TODAY
Far from being a religion of fear, Christianity sets us free to enjoy life to the full. Gaudete (‘Rejoice’) Sunday brims over with the good news that our God comes to liberate us from all those things which otherwise would strike terror and despair in our hearts. Today we proclaim our trust in God, and God agrees to dance at our feast.
THE GOD WE KNOW through the bible is a liberating God, a God who raises up prophets. He is the God who frees slaves (Exodus), who makes empires fall and lifts up the oppressed (Magnificat). (Josephine Cupit)
THIS WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS
Mon: Isa 38: 1-8,21-22 Matt 16: 13-end, 1 Thess 5: 1-11
Tues: Isaiah 38: 9-20, Matt 17: 1-13, 1 Thess 5: 12-end
Wed: Isaiah 39, Matt 17: 14-21, 2 Thessalonians 1
Thur: Zeph 1:1 - 2:3, Matt 17: 22-end, 2 Thess 2
Fri: Zeph 3: 1-13, Matt 18: 1-20, 2 Thessalonians 3
Sat: Zephaniah 3: 14-end, Matt 18: 21-end, Jude
NEXT SUNDAY : Micah 5: 2-5a, Hebrews 10: 5-10, S. Luke 1: 39-