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


24 January
2016

Welcome to St Alban’s Anglican Church

Today's Scripture: Nehemiah 8: 1-3, 5-6, 8-10 1 Corinthians 12: 12-31a S. Luke 4: 14-21

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

This Week: Mon (Conversion of S.Paul) 5 pm Holy Communion, Tues - Fri 12.30 pm Midday P

Next Sunday: 8.35 am Matins; 9 a.m. Church School; 9.30 am HOLY EUCHARIST; 6 pm E.P.


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: THERE SHOULD BE A LAW ABOUT IT

Politicians know that to be successful they have to convince us they would pass better laws in four main areas: education, health, transport and earnings. Everything else just comes and goes.

Even though most of us don’t like laws (we’d prefer fewer rather than more), we do recognise that they can be useful in regulating life for the common good. So we elect people to make laws that promote fairness and foster harmony in society.

The Jewish people were famous for their laws; they seemed to have one for every occasion. But when they were deported to Babylon in Iraq in exile, the new generations lost touch with their legal system. Upon their return to Jerusalem Ezra gathered them into an assembly and read the whole of the Law to them. They cried and wept, not because the laws were harsh, but because they showed the all-encompassing care that God had for them in setting up this legal system. That’s why the psalmist sang about the Law of God being perfect and gladdening the heart.

All the Old Testament laws come to fulfilment in Christ. The wisdom of God once encased in legal codes is now distilled in the person of Jesus. And when we come across him in his home-town synagogue he takes the opportunity to tell people that the law is now fulfilled in their very presence. We know later that he would sum all of this up in two laws: love God and love your neighbour.

Unlike man-made laws, the law of God is not intended to be a burden to people. It’s intended to set them free to get on with life. God’s law is ordered in such a way that the innate goodness and beauty of human life should be shared by all to the maximum. It encourages growth rather than restricts; it offers freedom rather than a straight-jacket. It looks at the whole picture rather than the interest of the moment.

So when Jesus says that the law and prophets are about to be fulfilled, what does he say will happen? The poor will get some good news, prisoners will be given their liberty, the blind will see again and oppressed people will be set free. If there’s a politician out there, your time may be running out...


WORD OF GOD

Ezra read from the Law of God,

translating and giving the sense,

so that the people understood what was read. (Nehemiah 8:8)


WORD FOR TODAY

The people cried when Ezra read them God’s law, not because of its severity but because of its over-arching goodness and mercy. For Christians the wisdom of God took shape in the person of Jesus and in his summary of all laws: love God and love your neighbour as yourself.


PROBABLY ALL LAWS ARE USELESS; for good people do not need laws at all and bad people are made no better by them. (Demonax the Cynic)


A TIGHTROPE HAS TO BE WALKED. On the one hand worship is primary. We exist to praise God. But


Christian worship only praises God when it is spoken and sung by people whose lives are consumed by God’s Spirit. There is no point in singing about setting captives free and giving sight to the blind if our lives centre only on hymnbooks. The bread and wine at our Sunday liturgy should be ground and fermented from the crucible of our lives during the previous six days. (Anne McQuaid)


THIS WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS

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

Tues: Genesis 13: 2-end, Matthew 26: 17-35, 1 Cor 10: 1-13

Wed: Genesis 14, Matthew 26: 36-46, 1 Cor 10: 14 - 11:1

Thur: Genesis 15, Matthew 26: 47-56, 1 Cor 11: 2-16

Fri: Gen 16, Matt 26: 57-end, 1 Corinthians 11: 17-end

Sat: Gen 17: 1-22, Matthew 27: 1-10, 1 Corinthians 12:1-11

NEXT SUNDAY : Ezekiel 43:27 - 44:4, 1 Corinthians 13, S. Luke 2: 22-40