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
Welcome to St Alban’s Anglican Church
Today's Scripture: 1 Kings 17: 17-end Galatians 1: 11-end S. Luke 7: 11-17
Today: 8.35 am Matins; 9 am Church School; 9.30 am HOLY EUCHARIST; 6pm E. Prayer.
This Week: Tues-Fri 12.30 pm Midday Prayer; Sat (S. Barnabas, Ap.) 10 am Prison Ministry, 12.30 pm Holy Communion.
Next Sunday: 8.35am Matins; 9am Ch Sch; 9.30am H. EUCHARIST and H. BAPTISM; 6pm EP
2nd Sunday after Trinity
FAITH IN FOCUS: THE GRACE OF BEREAVEMENT?
It’s hard to imagine the grief of the widow in today’s reading as she takes part in the funeral of her only son. How anyone can cope with such a situation is hard to fathom. When someone we love dies, our first reaction is often shock and denial. Nothing seems to make sense; we can hardly believe it and we keep thinking that it’s all some sort of mistake, even if we’ve been expecting it for months or even years. We can feel numb, and there seems no point in lots of things that previously we took for granted. Yet this shock and denial can be our way of getting through things, since without it everything could become too much for us. Could it be that shock and denial are part of God’s grace?
And we can feel angry. Maybe we direct our anger at the easiest targets; perhaps it’s the medical staff, maybe it’s the priest, often it’s the Church or even God. Later, it becomes those who didn’t attend the funeral, those who never sent their condolences, those who’ve avoided you since the death. And sometimes we get angry at ourselves, blaming ourselves for not doing enough, being hard on ourselves for not being as loving as we could have been. Such anger is a powerful thermometer of our love for the person who has died.
But anger like this inevitably leads us to feelings of guilt. We feel that somehow we have let ourselves down as well as the other person. We experience bargaining situations with God. “What if….”, “If only… ” There’s a real temptation to go back in time and act in such a way that the death could be avoided and the clock turned back. Sometimes people go through these feelings even before their loved one has actually died. “I’ll go to church every day of my life if you stop this happening….I’ll give half of my life savings to charity…..” We try to negotiate our way out of the hurt.
It’s not surprising that people become depressed in bereavement. It’s perfectly normal to feel depressed under such circumstances; it’s a natural reaction. We don’t feel like doing much and we resist the advances of those people who try to coax us back into the swing of things. Besides, when a fog hangs over us and we go in and out of nostalgia and sadness, we can sometimes find it hard to envisage where we will be this time next month or next year. Yet grief is part of the healing process that restores us to some sense of equilibrium.
With the passing of time, however long or short, we manage to accept if not exactly embrace what has happened. This does not mean that everything gets back to normal, that all is OK, that we can now put it all behind us. That would be impossible, not to mention cold and inhuman. But we do reach a stage where we can survive, where we can be grateful for our time with the person we loved, where we go from good days to bad and back again, and where we realise that this new reality is with us for the rest of our lives. We realise that other people still need us and that we are called to respond to the world and to life.
On that day in the town of Nain, no one could have missed the grace of God at work when Jesus raised the widow’s son to life. Today, when we are faced with bereavement for the loss of someone we love, there is no shortage of God’s grace.
WORD OF GOD
“Young man, I tell you to get up.”
And the dead man sat up and began to talk,
and Jesus gave him back to his mother. (Lk 7: 14-15)
WORD FOR TODAY - Do we compartmentalise our faith? Do we see it as something apart from “real” life or is it something that inspires and enlivens our daily activity? Today, in the midst of death and bereavement, Jesus brings hope and life to a dead man and his mother. What he did for them, he promises to do for you.
THIS WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS
Mon: Judges 2, Luke 13: 1-9, Romans 9:1-18
Tues: Judges 4: 1-23, Luke 13: 10-21, Romans 9: 19-end
Wed: Judges 5, Luke 13: 22-end, Romans 10: 1-10
Thurs: Judges 6: 1-24, Luke 14: 1-11, Romans 10: 11-end
Fri: Judges 6: 25-end, Luke 14: 12-24, Romans 11: 1-12
Sat (S. Barnabas): Job 29: 11-16, Acts 11: 19-end, S. John 15: 12-17
NEXT SUNDAY: 2 Samuel 11:26 - 12:10, 13-15 Galatians 2: 15-end, S. John: 3: 1-8