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 : Fax (345) 949 0619
Welcome to St Alban’s Anglican Church
Today's Scripture: Acts 8: 26-end 1 John 4: 7–end S. John 15: 1–8
am Matins; 9 am Church School; 9.30 am HOLY EUCHARIST foll. by Annual
Church Meeting & brunch; 6 pm E.P.
This Week: Wed - Fri 12.30 pm Midday Prayers.
Next Sunday: 8.35 am Matins & Litany; 9 am Church School; 9.30 am HOLY EUCHARIST; 6 pm E.P.
4th Sunday after Easter
God, who alone canst order the unruly wills and affections of sinful
men: Grant unto thy people, that they may love the thing which thou
commandest, and desire that which thou dost promise; that so, among
the sundry and manifold changes of the world, our hearts may surely
there be fixed, where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ
FAITH IN FOCUS: MEASURE OF SUCCESS
We are used to having to work hard to get results. We have to study if we want to pass our exams, train if we want to win the race and practise if we want to play an instrument. From our earliest days we have had it drummed into us that results are achieved only through effort.
With faith, though, things are not quite the same. True enough, we do have to act, to discipline ourselves, to train ourselves in the ways of prayer. If we simply sat back we wouldn't make very good Christians.
But today's gospel about the vine and the branches is an Eastertide reminder to us that the basic thing required of all Christians is to be rooted in Christ, to be so attuned to his voice and presence that all our actions spring from his promptings through the Holy Spirit.
Any good that is achieved in the world comes about through God's action and grace. We are simply co-operators. We are not the vine itself, just the branches. And Jesus points out that we will keep ourselves fruitful if we are pruned. And we are pruned by listening to the word that he has spoken. So each of us has to consider how we are joined to Jesus through faith, prayer and keeping his word.
If each of us has to produce fruit, what is this fruit to be? Service? Action for justice? A life offered silently to God? Only God's word can tell you and me what is being asked particularly of us. But the most important thing is that we don't simply rush into action off our own bat, but that the fruits we bear should come from the Spirit and bear his seal. Our action should spring from prayer.
The success of the Church and of Christians is not measured by achievements but by the progress of those who interiorise Christ's Easter mystery, who make it their own and share in his cross and resurrection. Anything else is just window-dressing.
WORD OF GOD
Make your home in me, as I make mine in you.
As a branch cannot bear fruit all by itself,
but must remain as part of the vine,
neither can you unless you remain in me.
PRAYER IS neither word nor gesture,
chant nor sound.
Prayer is to be in still communication
with our Ground. (Angelus Silesius)
WORD FOR TODAY
As the Easter season progresses St John reminds us that we are branches on the vine that is Christ. Hustle and bustle, feverish activity and forward planning mean nothing if we are not firmly rooted in Christ. Ultimately it is the Spirit that causes us to grow, not ourselves.
THE LONGEST JOURNEY is the journey inward ... The road to holiness necessarily passes through the world of action. (Dag Hammarskjold)
A CHURCH THAT STARVES ITSELF and its members of the contemplative life deserves whatever spiritual leanness it may experience. (Michael Ramsey)
THIS WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS
Mon: Deut 16: 1-20, 1 Peter 1: 1-12, Luke 4: 38–end
Tues: Deut 17: 8–end, 1 Peter 1: 13–end, Luke 5: 1–11
Wed: Deut 18: 9-end, 1 Peter 2: 1–10, Luke 5: 12–26
Thurs: Deut 19, 1 Peter 2: 11-end, Luke 5 : 27-end
Fri: Deut 21:22 – 22:8, 1 Peter 3: 1-12, Luke 6: 1–11
Sat: Deut 24: 5–end, 1 Peter 3: 13-end, Luke 6: 12-26
NEXT SUNDAY: Acts 10: 44-end, 1 John 5: 1–6, S. John 15: 9–17