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
18 December 2016
Welcome to St Alban’s Anglican Church
Today's Scripture: Isaiah 7: 10-16 Romans 1: 1-7 S. Matthew 1: 18-end
Today: 8.35am Matins; 9am Ch School; 9.30 am HOLY EUCHARIST; 6pm EP foll. by Carolling at Pines and GT Hospital.
This Week: Tues, Thurs - Fri 12.30 pm Midday Prayer; Wed (S. Thomas' Day) 5 pm Holy Communion; Sat (Christmas Eve) 10 am
Prison Ministry of Lessons & Carols (Northward), 7.30 pm Service of 5 Lessons and Carols at National Gallery of the CI.
Next Sunday (Christmas Day): 9 am Matins; 9.30 am CHRISTMAS EUCHARIST; 6pm EP
O Lord, raise up (we pray thee) thy power, and come among us, and with great might succour us; that whereas, through our sins and wickedness, we are sore let and hindered in running the race that is set before us, thy bountiful grace and mercy may speedily help and deliver us; through the satisfaction of thy Son our Lord, to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost be honour and glory, world without end.
FAITH IN FOCUS: HOW MANY STOPPING DAYS TO GO?
You can’t turn on the radio this week without being reminded of how many “shopping” days are left before Christmas is upon us. You could be forgiven for thinking that the main purpose of Christmas is to buy things. And if you haven’t gone out and spent your money on gifts and goodies then perhaps you haven’t really celebrated Christmas.
For Christians nothing could be further from the truth, since Christmas is the celebration of God’s becoming a child in the person of Jesus, and our prime aim is to recall that event so that it may have an effect on us here and now.
Because Christmas has been hijacked as a season of commercial bonanza, it can be hard for us to focus on its true meaning. It is essentially about simplicity rather than opulence. The second person of the Trinity humbled himself to share our human nature so that he could teach us how to live, how to love, how to learn and how to laugh. The birth of Jesus took place so that we could find out what it means to be truly human.
Amid the clatter of TV adverts offering super savings at our local stores, we remind ourselves that the season of Advent is a time of spiritual preparation for the Christmas event. The Church journeys along a four-week path of expectation, of yearning and longing for the coming of the Messiah, of self-examination, of rededication and commitment, of joyful preparation. It’s tempting to jump the gun and celebrate a wonderful carol service weeks before the 25th, or to hold a Christmas party to end all Christmas parties when there’s still ten days to go. But it really is worth the wait if we stop to ponder on the Advent journey.
So today we meet Mary and Joseph in our scripture readings. Both of them aware that something momentous is about to happen to them - both patiently pondering on the outcome. No rush. No fuss. Just active co-operation with God’s will as announced by the angel.
If Advent has passed you by, don’t worry. There are still some stopping days left before Christmas.
WORD OF GOD
The maiden is with child
and will soon give birth to a son
whom she will call Emmanuel,
a name which means “God-is-with-us”.
(Isaiah 7:14/Matthew 1:23)
WORD FOR TODAY
It’s hard not to get caught up in the having and hoarding that goes with a consumer Christmas. But today the Church offers us the chance to pause and reflect on the true reason why we celebrate this season: God loved us so much that he was prepared to become a little baby.
COMMON LOOKING PEOPLE are the best in the world: that is the reason the Lord makes so many of them. (Abraham Lincoln)
THIS WEEK'S READINGS
Mon: Isa 52:13 - 53.end, 2 Peter 1: 1-15, Matt 19: 1-12
Tues: Isaiah 54, 2 Peter 1:16 - 2:3, Matthew 19: 13-15
Wed (S. Thomas): Job 42: 1-6, Ephesians 2: 19-end, S. John 20: 24-end
Thurs: Isaiah 56: 1-8, 2 Peter 3, Matthew 23: 1-12
Fri: Isaiah 63: 1-6, 2 John, Matthew 23: 13-28
Sat: Isaiah 58, 3 John, Revelation 1: 1-8
NEXT SUNDAY (CHRISTMAS DAY): Isaiah 9: 2-7, Titus 2: 11-14, S. Luke 2: 1-20