T he 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 : Fax (345) 949 0619
Welcome to St Alban’s Anglican Church
Today's Scripture: Isaiah 61: 1-4, 8-end 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-24 S. John 1: 6-8, 19-28
Today: 8.35 a.m. Matins; 9.00 a.m. Ch School; 9.30 a.m. HOLY EUCHARIST; 6 pm EP foll. by Carolling at the Pines Retirement Home and the George Town Public Hospital.
This Week: Tues - Wed, Fri 12.30 pm Midday Prayers; Thurs (S. Thomas, Ap) 5 pm Holy Communion; Sat 10 am Prison Ministry - Service of Lessons & Carols.
Next Sunday: 8.35 a.m. Matins; 9.00 a.m. Ch School; 9.30 a.m. HOLY EUCHARIST; 7.30 pm SERVICE OF LESSONS AND CAROLS at South South Community Centre.
Advance Notice: Monday 25th Dec. - CHRISTMAS DAY - 9.00 a.m. Matins; 9.30 a.m. CHRISTMAS EUCHARIST, Tues 26th (S. Stephen) HC 12.30 pm; Wed 27th (S.John) HC 12.30 pm; Thurs (Holy Innocents) HC 12.30 pm.
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: SHOUT FREEDOM
It seems that Christians get a bad press whatever they say. If they speak out against practices in modern society that contradict God’s teaching, then they are branded as misery-guts and doom merchants. If they tell others about the wonderful life that faith in Jesus allows them, then they are bracketed among the deluded and the deceived.
Well today, Gaudete Sunday, is definitely a day for those who want to celebrate. For it reminds us that our lives are a continual act of readying the way for Christ’s return, and a joyous return at that. Nothing can take that confident hope from us.
Paul encourages us to be happy and grateful at all times. This is not the Cheshire Cat Christian whose smile is fixed in the face of conflict, war, evil and disaster. Such a believer fails to face the reality of our worldly existence. Rather, we are called to experience a deep-down sense of happiness and well-being that comes from Christ’s promises, but at the same time to be realistic about how much more we have to do if the kingdom of God is to be established in our world.
Rejoicing at all times does not mean constantly partying. It means carrying within us the confident hope that Jesus will return, in whatever shape or form, at the end of time and will establish true justice and peace. So when we celebrate Advent we are ratifying our belief that Christ has already conquered evil, and whatever might happen to us and our world is transient, something which can never have a permanent hold over us and our graced spirit.
People of the Way cannot fear the coming of Jesus, because the coming of Jesus is the coming of a saviour, a God who wants us to be part of his innermost circle. Our God comes not to exact vengeance but to set us free. That’s why our unshakeable trust in Jesus is accompanied by constant prayer. We long to be free of what drags us down in this life, and we pray to Jesus to come with his saving power into our lives each day. He has promised to answer our call. And we are confident that he will.
WORD OF GOD
Here is the Lord, coming with power...
like a shepherd feeding his flock,
gathering lambs in his arms,
holding them against his breast
and leading to their rest the mother ewes. (Isa 40: 10-11)
WORD FOR TODAY
Is the coming of our God something the church should fear or welcome with open arms? If our scriptures are to be believed then the advent of the Lord is that of a loving God, of someone whose great concern is to free us from what holds us back and to lead us to where we will flourish. The Advent cry of the Church has always been “Come, Lord Jesus, come!”
THIS WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS
Mon: Isa 38: 1-8, 21-22, Matt 16: 13–end, 1 Thess 5: 1-11
Tues: Isa 38: 9-20, Matt 17: 1-13, 1 Thess 5: 12-end
Wed: Isaiah 39, Matt 17: 14–21, 2 Thessalonians 1
Thurs: Zephaniah 1:1 - 2:3, Matt 17: 22-end, 2 Thess 2
Fri: Zeph 3: 1–13, Matthew 18: 1–20, 2 Thess 3
Sat: Zephaniah 3: 14-end, Matt 18: 21–end, Jude
NEXT SUNDAY: 2 Samuel 7: 1-11, 16, Romans 16: 25-end, S. Luke 1: 26-38