T he 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: Amos 5: 18-24 1 Thessalonians 4: 13-end S. Matthew 25: 1–13
Today: 8.35 a.m. Matins; 9.00 a.m. Ch School; 9.25 a.m. HOLY EUCHARIST; 10.50 a.m. Remembrance Sunday Civic Service; 6 pm EP
This Week: Tues–Fri 12.30 pm Midday Prayer; Sat 10 am Prison Ministry.
Next Sunday: 8.35 a.m. Matins; 9.00 a.m. Ch School; 9.30 a.m. HOLY EUCHARIST; 6 pm EP
Advance Notice: Fri 24th Nov 3 pm - to Sat 2nd Dec Crafts Fair at St Alban's schoolroom.
Twenty-Second Sunday after Trinity
LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy household the Church in continual godliness; that through thy protection it may be free from all adversities, and devoutly given to serve thee in good works, to the glory of thy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
FAITH IN FOCUS: KEEP YOUR LAMP BURNING
A class of schoolchildren was told the story of the ten bridesmaids and then asked to comment on it. One little boy said he thought the wise ones were horrible because they should have shared their oil with the foolish ones. After all, everyone kept saying how important it is to share!
When we read the parables there are traps we can easily fall into. One of the most common traps is to try and find a meaning in every little detail of the parable. This is what the little boy was doing in his own way. But he was probably too young to appreciate the wider picture.
There is no lasting significance in the number five or ten for the bridesmaids. No deep meaning in the fact that it was oil which was needed. No great importance to the time, midnight, or that the bridegroom was late. So what is Jesus trying to tell us?
It's actually about life and death. Each of us has been invited to a wedding feast, an everlasting one in heaven. We have to ensure that we make all the necessary preparations in life and turn up ready for the event, whenever it may be. Now the foolish bridesmaids in the story were not excluded from the wedding due to a momentary lapse of concentration. They were habitually ill-prepared, whereas the wise ones had remained alert for whenever the call might come.
What marked the five foolish bridesmaids out was a lifetime of half-heartedness in their preparation for the marriage feast of heaven. Like them, we too can find ourselves practising our faith out of duty or habit. A sign of this is when, unlike the wise bridesmaids, we stop feeling the sense of joyful expectation that our religion offers us.
As Advent approaches we are reminded that Jesus is inviting us not to a funeral but to a joyful wedding. So let's prepare for and look forward to the invitation.
WORD OF GOD
Ten bridesmaids took their lamps
and went to meet the bridegroom.
Five of them were foolish
and five were sensible. (Matthew 25:1-2)
WORD FOR TODAY
As the Church's year draws to a close over the next few weeks we are reminded of the need to be alert for the coming of the Lord. Have we fallen into the same lackadaisical habits as the five foolish bridesmaids? Are there daily ways in which Jesus comes to meet us that we may be overlooking?
AT THE TIME OF CHRIST, marriage rituals were a lot more elaborate than we have at present. Once a groom had paid the wedding price to the father of the bride a period of a year would elapse. During that time the groom would go back to his home and prepare it for the arrival of his bride. When the right moment had arrived he would set off to the bride's house to bring her 'home'. A great procession would be the order of the day and everyone in the procession would have their own torch/lamp. To be in
the procession without a lamp/torch meant that you were a gatecrasher to the wedding celebrations and you would be locked out when the groom reached his home.
SPIRITUAL READINESS, preparation and growth does not just happen. It comes as a result of intentional habits built into one's life. It comes through routine, mundane attention to ordinary spiritual disciplines, making sure you have enough oil: spiritual fuel. (Rodney Buchanan)
THIS WEEK’S BIBLE READINGS
Mon: Isaiah 5: 8-24, Matthew 4:23 – 5:12, Revelation 5
Tues: Isaiah 5: 25-end, Matthew 5: 13-20, Revelation 6
Wed: Isaiah 6, Matt 5: 21–37, Rev 7: 1-4, 9-end
Thurs: Isaiah 7: 1-17, Matthew 5: 38-end, Revelation 8
Fri: Isaiah 8: 1–15, Matthew 6: 1–18, Rev 9: 1-12
Sat: Isaiah 8:16 - 9:7, Matt 6: 19–end, Rev 9: 13-end
NEXT SUNDAY: Zephaniah 1: 7, 12-end, 1 Thessalonians 5: 1-11, S. Matthew 25: 14–30