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: Isaiah 43: 16-21 Philippians 3: 4b-14 S. John 12: 1-8
Today: 8.35 am Matins; 9am Church School; 9.30 am HOLY EUCHARIST; 6 pm E. Prayer
This Week: Tues - Fri 12.30 pm Midday Prayers; Sat (S. Joseph of Nazareth) 10 am Prison Ministry, 12.30 am Holy Commuion.
Next Sunday (Palm Sunday): 8.35 am Matins; 9am Church School; 9.30 am HOLY EUCHARIST with Procession of Palms; 6 pm EP
5th Sunday in Lent (Beginning of Passiontide)
We beseech thee, Almighty God, mercifully to look upon thy people; that by thy great goodness they may be governed and preserved evermore, both in body and soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
FAITH IN FOCUS: LOOKING BACK?
Wiping the slate clean...forgiving and forgetting...turning over a new leaf....beginning again from square one.... We all know what these things mean but we find it hard to put them into practice.
First of all we have difficulty in forgetting what others have done to us, even if we have forgiven them. There’s always that niggling raking-over of how we’ve been mistreated or taken advantage of. And in this sense our forgiveness becomes only partial.
Then we have difficulty in believing that God doesn’t behave in the same fashion with us when we commit sin. Despite God’s assurances, we still have a tendency to believe that we come to God with a “reputation” and that our past offences are somehow still lying on the record.
But Jesus consistently deals with people quite differently. Jesus’s words are about the future, not the past. What’s done is done and all that anyone can ever ask of us is not to repeat the same mistakes. And in today’s reading from Isaiah God tells us, “No need to recall the past, no need to think about what was done before. See, I am doing a new deed”.
A new deed. That’s what happens when God grants pardon. God’s forgiveness makes a completely new person of us since we are restored to the likeness of our maker. God’s forgiveness is not about cobbling together the best of a bad bunch or botching up what is still usable. When God forgives he creates a brand new situation, a fresh opportunity, a vast horizon, a complete rehabilitation and a “new deed”.
As we approach the last part of Lent we have the chance to come clean before God and to ask for the forgiveness that the gospel offers. Lent summons us to live in this passing world with our hearts set on the world that will never end. We do this in confidence, knowing that God is not here to condemn us but simply to say, “Forget the past and look to the future”.
WORD OF GOD
No need to recall the past,
no need to think about what was done before.
See, I am doing a new deed,
even now it comes to light: can you not see it?
WORD FOR TODAY
We learn by our mistakes. But dwelling on the past prevents us from moving forward since it fails to look the present full in the face. God knows the sins of our past, but is much more concerned for us to grow into fullness of life. Accepting God’s forgiveness and moving on is the first step in this process.
THE TRUE PHYSICIAN does not preach repentance; he offers absolution.
(H L Mencken)
FORGIVENESS NEEDS TO BE ACCEPTED, as well as given, before it is complete. (C S Lewis)
ONLY ONE PETITION in the Lord’s Prayer has any condition attached to it: it is the petition for forgiveness.
THIS WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS
Mon: Exodus 8: 1-19, Hebrews 11: 17-31, John 11: 28-44
Tues: Exod 8: 20-end, Hebrews 11:32 - 12:2, John 11: 45-end
Wed: Exod 9: 1-12, Hebrews 12: 3-13, John 12: 1-11
Thur: Exod 9: 13-end, Hebrews 12: 14-end, John 12: 12-19
Fri: Exodus 10, Hebrews 13: 1-16, John 12: 20-36a
Sat(S. JOSEPH): 2 Samuel 7: 4-16, Romans 4: 13-18, S. Matthew 1: 18-end
NEXT SUNDAY (PALM SUNDAY): S.Luke 19: 28-40, Isaiah 50: 4-9a, Philippians 2: 5-11, S. Luke 22: 14 - 23.end