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
15 January 2017
Welcome to St Alban’s Anglican Church
Almighty and everlasting God, who dost govern all things in heaven and earth: Mercifully hear the supplications of thy people, and grant us thy peace all the days of our life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
FAITH IN FOCUS: NO ONE QUITE LIKE YOU
When a man and woman fall in love strange things happen. Each becomes absorbed in the other. They constantly think about each other. They want to know all about their partner and they find each other fascinating. There is nothing ordinary about your girlfriend or boyfriend because they seem special to you. So special, in fact, that you can’t understand why everyone else doesn’t see it. And you would do anything for them. You really love them.
Is it possible, or even decent, that God should have this sort of love for us? So often when we say that God loves us we mean it in a distant sense. It’s like saying that we love French people. What we really mean is that we find them pleasant and we would do nothing to harm them. But there’s a very different type of love between us and the French than that which exists between lovers.
Today Isaiah reminds us of how exactly God loves us. Not in some remote and general way, but in an intimate and deep sense. God has loved each one of us since the moment he allowed us to start forming in the womb. And God is fascinated with us not just as members of the human race but as individual persons. That’s because God made us and wants us to be happy and prosper.
Each of us is special to God because God is not some sort of principle but is a person. As a person he craves a personal relationship with us. Not a hair on our head is lost without God noticing it and being concerned for us. For he loves everything that he has made.
Part of the greatness of God is his ability to stoop down to our level and our petty concerns and worries. As a lover he is bothered about what bothers us. He knows and loves us so much that there is something he has entrusted to us that is unique. And if we are to respond to God’s amorous overtures then we have to be prepared to use that uniqueness in his service. When God proposes, our response can only be that of the psalmist: Here I am, Lord. I come to do your will!
WORD OF GOD
And now the Lord has spoken,
he who formed me in the womb
to be his servant.
WORD FOR TODAY
The best prayers are the simplest. Today the psalmist puts words into our mouths that help us to stay focussed on what life is all about. He invites us to bring all our cares and concerns before God with complete trust, and to say, “Here I am, Lord. I come to do your will.”
ALTHOUGH WE SPEAK of the necessity of baptism for salvation, the Church has traditionally recognised that it cannot be the case that all non-baptised people are excluded from heaven. It would be unthinkable that God should create people only then to refuse them eternal happiness. Theology distinguishes three types of baptism: by water, by blood and by desire.
The first is the sacrament celebrated by the church. The second refers to martyrdom for the faith before formal baptism. And the third concerns the death of someone who would have accepted baptism had the opportunity been presented. (Oliver Todd)
THIS WEEK'S READINGS
Mon: Amos 6, 1 Corinthians 6: 1-11, Matthew 24: 1-14
Tues: Amos 7, 1 Corinthians 6: 12-end, Matt 24: 15-28
Wed: Amos 8, 1 Cor 7: 1-24, Matthew 24: 29-end
Thurs: Amos 9, 1 Corinthians 7: 25-end, Matt 25: 1-13
Fri: Hosea 1:1 - 2:1, 1 Corinthians 8, Matthew 25: 14-30
Sat: Hosea 2: 2-17, 1 Corinthians 9: 1-14, Matthew 25: 31-end
NEXT SUNDAY : Isaiah 9: 1-4, 1 Corinthians 1: 10-18, S. Matthew 4: 12-23