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

12 February 2017

Welcome to St Alban’s Anglican Church

Today's Scripture: Deuteronomy 30: 15-end     1 Corinthians 3: 1-9     S. Matthew 5: 21-37

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

This Week: Tues - Fri 12.30 pm Midday Prayers; Sat 10 am Prison Ministry

Next Sunday: 8.35 am Matins; 9 am Church School (short); 9.30 am HOLY EUCHARIST & HOLY BAPTISM; 6 pm EP


Septuagesima

O Lord, we beseech thee favourably to hear the prayers of thy people; that we, who are justly punished for our offences, may be mercifully delivered by thy goodness, for the glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Saviour, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.


FAITH IN FOCUS: SURFACE RELIGION

In the Christian faith, it’s not enough to keep the rules. We have to have that something extra; we have to have a loving relationship with God, a relationship that shows itself in the way we live our lives.

In today’s gospel Jesus criticises the religious leaders for doing just enough to comply with the religious law while their hearts are in a different place. Minimalism is not the same as virtue. And so he points out that a “how far can I go?” mentality is unacceptable to God. I may not kill someone but if I harbour anger against them then I am guilty of sin. I may not commit adultery but if I lust after someone then I’ve already shown that I’m trying to bend the rules. And how can we approach God in worship when we are at odds with others at home or in the community? It’s simply hypocrisy, says Jesus.

How alive is my faith? Do I give my all or do I simply keep the rules? Is coming to church on a Sunday the sum total of my contribution to the local Christian community? Do I rather resent the rules and regulations that my faith places upon me? Do I think that they put me at a disadvantage compared with friends who have no faith or do I see them as a God-given way of being most alive ? Do I see God’s law as restrictive or as life-enhancing? Does it kerb my liberty or is it a charter for human freedom?

Christians believe that God’s law brings life whereas acting contrary to it only results in a destructive existence. Today’s scripture is even blunter; it tells us that we have a choice between life and death: choosing to ignore the grace and wisdom of God means opting for a pattern of life that is ultimately unfulfilling and life-depriving.

Ecclesiasticus (a preacher) has the view that if we choose we can keep God’s commandments for it is within our power to do so. You have life and death before you, he says, and whichever you like better will be given to you.

Life and death on both sides of the grave. That’s quite a choice!


WORD OF GOD

For I tell you,

if your virtue goes no further

than that of the scribes and Pharisees,

you will never get into the kingdom of heaven.

(Matthew 5:20)


WORD FOR TODAY

Why do we believe and practise what we do? Do we obey God’s law because we see it as an insurance policy for eternity or because it frees us to live the best life? Is it a deterrent or is it a charter for freedom?


HYPOCRISY AND DISTORTION are passing currents under the name of religion. (Ghandi)


SOMETIMES RELIGIOUS PEOPLE conform outwardly to all the rules of their faith but they have no real regard for others. They attend church but not a needy person; they don’t use foul language but nor do they offer many kind words; they show concern for those in distant disasters but bypass people of their own towns. This is hypocrisy with a halo. (Oliver Todd)


THIS WEEK'S READINGS

Mon: Ecclesiastes 1, John 17: 1-5, 1 Timothy 6: 1-10

Tues: Ecclesiastes 2, John 17: 6-19, 1 Timothy 6: 11-end

Wed: Ecclesiastes 3: 1-15, John 17: 20-end, 2 Timothy 1: 1-14

Thurs: Ecclesiastes 3:16 - 4.end, John 18: 1-11, 2 Timothy 1:15- 2:13

Fri: Ecclesiastes 5, John 18: 12-27, 2 Tim 2: 14-end

Sat: Ecclesiastes 6, John 18: 28-end, 2 Timothy 3

NEXT SUNDAY : Genesis 1:1 - 2:3, Romans 8: 18-25, S. John 3: 1-8