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
23 July 2017
Welcome to St Alban’s Anglican Church
Today's Scripture: Isaiah 44: 6-8 Romans 8: 12-25 S. Matthew 13: 24-30, 36-43
Today: 9.00 am Matins; 9.30 am Holy Eucharist; 6.00 pm Evening Pr.
Next Sunday : 9.00 am Matins; 9.30 am Holy Eucharist; 6.00 pm EP
Collect for Sixth Sunday after Trinity
O God, who hast prepared for them that love thee such good things as pass man's understanding: Pour into our hearts such love toward thee, that we, loving thee above all things, may obtain thy promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
FAITH IN FOCUS: IS GOD ASLEEP?
People have wondered over the centuries how it is that we call God almighty and powerful, yet things happen in our world that he seems powerless to do anything about. Leaving aside sickness and disease, slavery, Hitler and Stalin, drugs crime etc., what about September 11th, suicide bombers, political murders and continental famine?
If we were God we’d surely be out there in the thick of it, sorting things out and making sure some people got their just deserts for what they’ve been up to. But God doesn’t stir. It’s as if he’s asleep like the farmer in today’s gospel.
Philosophers say that God does not intervene because this would interrupt the laws of nature. Theologians say that God has given us total freedom to behave in any way we choose and this free will would be contradicted if God kept treating us like puppets or robots. What matters, they say, is that we should be prepared to accept ultimate responsibility for our actions - both sides of the grave.
The writer of the Book of Wisdom gives us a clue. In the face of evil God watches from afar, but he always steps in to offer people the gift of repentance. In other words, God is hoping that even the most sinister (and that of course includes us) will seize the chance of mending their ways. God is mild in judgement and governs with lenience, Wisdom says, and even after sin he holds out the olive branch if only the sinner is prepared to repent.
God’s perspective is different from ours. The kingdom of God is still at the growing stage. He sees things over a lifetime and he judges in eternity’s seconds. He is not a God who nips in the bud, but one who is always prepared to wait until the eleventh hour - just in case. At times this may seem frustrating to us when we would like some sort of dramatic intervention as God stoops to give someone their comeuppance. But there again, when he allows us to make slow progress in the hope that one day we might repent, then we’re quite glad that he seems to be sleeping.
WORD OF GOD
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!" (Romans 8:15)
WORDS OF WISDOM
Disposing of such great strength,
you are mild in judgement
and you govern us with great lenience.
WORD FOR TODAY
What a strange God! One who allows us to make our own mistakes, even though he could prevent them, and one who always gives us the chance of making amends even though we have the freedom not to do so. This is the God who reaches out to us today.
THROUGHOUT THE BIBLE, God's people sometimes look a lot like weeds, until they grow to maturity and somehow blossom into beautiful flowers. Consider Saul, who persecuted Christians. He rounded up people who believed in Jesus. Christians feared coming in contact with him. But one day he saw a blinding light on a road, and soon he was the most fervent missionary God has ever had. When God gets a hold of a worthless weed, it can often transform into a beautiful blossom.
THIS WEEK'S READINGS
Mon: Ezek 10: 1-19, 2 Cor 6:1 - 7:1, Luke 20:41 - 21:4
Tues (S. James, Ap): Acts 11:27 - 12:2, 2 Cor 4: 7-15, S. Matthew 20: 20-28
Wed: Ezek 12: 1-16, 2 Cor 8: 1-15, Luke 21: 20-28
Thurs: Ezek 12: 17-end, 2 Corinthians 8:16 - 9:5, Luke 21: 29-end
Fri : Ezekiel 13: 1-16, 2 Cor 9: 6-end, Luke 22: 1-13
Sat: Ezek 14: 1-11, 2 Corinthians 10, Luke 22: 14-23
NEXT SUNDAY : 1 Kings 3: 5-12, Romans 8: 26-39, S. Matthew 13: 31-33, 44-52