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

22 January 2017

Welcome to St Alban’s Anglican Church

Today's Scripture: Isaiah 9: 1-4     1 Corinthians 1: 10-18      S. Matthew 4: 12-23

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

This Week: Tues, Thurs - Fri 12.30 pm Midday Prayers; Wed CONVERSION OF S.PAUL 5 pm Holy Communion

Next Sunday: 8.35 am Matins; 9 am Church School; 9.30 am HOLY EUCHARIST; 6 pm EP


3rd Sunday after Epiphany

Almighty and everlasting God, mercifully look upon our infirmities, and in all our dangers and necessities stretch forth thy right hand to help and defend us; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


FAITH IN FOCUS: QUITE A SURPRISE

We all have our own prejudices. Some of us wouldn’t touch a German white wine if it were on prescription. Others would always go for a week’s bed and breakfast at Mrs Higginbottom’s boarding house in Eastbourne rather than a luxury holiday abroad in the sun. A new fashion design business would have an uphill struggle if it opened in Scunthorpe and a gourmet restaurant would have to prove itself to survive in West Bromwich. (Apologies to anyone who lives in these towns!)

The same was true in Jesus’s day. Of all the chic places to be found, the land of Zebulun and Naphtali, in northern Palestine, was not exactly at the top of the list. It had been attacked by the Assyrians and many people had been deported. So it’s with a sense of irony that Matthew remembers Isaiah’s prophecy about how God would make these places great. And now the eyes of the world look to Zebulun and Naphtali as the place from which God’s promised Messiah has come.

We have to fight against letting our prejudices get the better of us. For our God is a God of surprises. Just when we think we have got it all sewn up and we know what to expect, God pops up in the most unusual of circumstances and makes a nonsense of our best predictions. The pages of religious history are littered with the underdog proving victorious.

That’s because God doesn’t march to the same beat as we do. God is bigger than we can ever imagine and he chooses to work things out in his own way and not in ours. It’s only our puny expectations that prevent us from doing great things. We have learned not to expect much, even of God. And although God tells us to pray for the Holy Spirit in our lives so that we will accomplish wonders and marvels, we sometimes need some convincing.

As this year of Matthew’s gospel unfolds we will be invited to set no limits on what God can do in our lives, to expect the unhoped for, to await more than we could ever dream of. Alternatively we could put our faith on hold and try another week at Mrs Higginbottom’s. There are no surprises there.


WORD OF GOD

The Lord humbled

the land of Zebulun and Naphtali,

but in days to come

he will confer glory on them.

(Isaiah 9:1)


WORD FOR TODAY

As Jesus begins his preaching mission the scriptures point to him as the Light of the world. To follow Jesus in our daily lives means to be called from despair to hope, from sadness to joy, and from darkness into light.


WHILE WE ARE BEING STRENGTHENED in Christ Jesus and beginning to move forward in steadfast watchfulness, he at first appears in our intellect like a torch which, carried in the hand of the intellect, guides us along the tracks of the mind. Then he appears like a full moon, circling the heart's firmament. Finally, he appears to us like the sun, radiating justice, clearly revealing himself in the full light of spiritual vision. (St Hesychios)


THIS WEEK'S READINGS

Mon: Hosea 2:18 - 3.end, 1 Cor 9: 15-end, Matt 26: 1-16

Tues: Hosea 4: 1-16, 1 Cor 10: 1-13, Matt 26: 17-35

Wed (CONVERSION OF S. PAUL): Jeremiah 1: 4-10, Acts 9: 1-22, Matthew 19: 27-end

Thurs: Hosea 5:8 - 6:6, 1 Cor 11: 2-16, Matt 26: 47-56

Fri: Hosea 6:7 - 7:2, 1 Cor 11: 17-end, Matt 26: 57-end

Sat: Hosea 68 1 Corinthians 12: 1-11, Matt 27: 1-10

NEXT SUNDAY : 1 Kings 17: 8-16, 1 Corinthians 1: 18-end, S. John 2: 1-11