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
1 October 2017
Welcome to St Alban’s Anglican Church
Today's Scripture: Ezek 18: 1-4, 25-end, Philippians 2: 1-13, S. Matthew 21: 23-32
Today: 8.35 am Matins; 9.00 am Church School; 9.30 am Holy Eucharist; 6.00 pm Evening Prayer
This Week: Tues - Fri 12.30 pm Midday Prayers.
Next Sunday: 8.35 am Matins & Litany; 9.00 am Ch Sch; 9.30 am Holy Eucharist; 6.00 pm EP
Collect for Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity
O LORD, we beseech thee, let thy continual pity cleanse and defend thy Church; and, because it cannot continue in safety without thy succour, preserve it evermore by thy help and goodness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
FAITH IN FOCUS: ONE STRIKE AND YOU’RE OUT?
Over the past few weeks St Matthew, aided and abetted by the prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel, has been hammering home one of the most basic points of the Good News. The thrust of his teaching has been that God is so utterly different from us that we cannot reduce him to our petty ways of thinking and acting. For God is pure (really pure) kindness.
And nowhere is this more obvious than in the area of judgement and forgiveness. Our legal and societal codes are loath to give people the benefit of the doubt. Second chances may be few and far between. Lock them up and throw away the key may often be the order of the day when we find people guilty of transgressing the law of the land.
What Jesus shows is an extraordinary willingness to go the extra mile with those whose lives clearly contradict the mores of the time. And so the gospel pages show him much more at ease with sinners and outcasts than with lawyers and religious leaders.
We know what mercy is, but we often forget that God is pure mercy. Our idea of mercy is only a shadow of God’s. That is because God so loves us that the last thing he would want is for us to be condemned and put outside the bounds of reconciliation. Whereas we feel justified to operate a two or three strikes and you’re out system, God is still offering a person the chance to change their mind and return to the straight and narrow.
That’s why God doesn’t give up on us. God is not lenient with crime and sin, but his lenience with sinners is conditioned only upon his own nature. The arrogance of those in society who would claim to be upright citizens when in their hearts they are only too aware of their own deceits is what angers Jesus. When people recognise their transgressions and genuinely turn to God they are always assured of a welcome. But those who have no time for giving people second chances Jesus calls hypocrites. Those you consider to be the scum of the earth, he says, will make it to heaven before you.
WORD OF GOD
When the sinner has chosen to renounce all his previous sins,
he shall certainly live; he shall not die. (Ezekiel 18:28)
WORD FOR TODAY
Sometimes we know that we have chosen a course of action that is wrong, but we find it hard to give it up. Today we are told that it’s not too late to turn back from a foolish pattern of behaviour, from habits which have become ingrained. God overlooks our stubbornness when we take even a small step to answer his voice.
One act of obedience is better than one hundred sermons.
The only safe ruler is he who has learned to obey willingly.
(Thomas à Kempis)
THIS WEEK'S READINGS
Mon: 2 Chron 2: 1-16, Mark 12: 28-34, Acts 19: 8-20
Tues: 2 Chronicles 3, Mark 12: 35-end, Ac 19: 21-end
Wed: 2 Chronicles 5, Mark 13: 1-13, Acts 20: 1-16
Thurs: 2 Chron 6: 1-21, Mark 13: 14-23, Ac 20: 17-end
Fri: 2 Chron 6: 22-end, Mark 13: 24-31, Acts 21: 1-16
Sat: 2 Chronicles 7, Mark 13: 32-end, Acts 21: 17-36
NEXT SUNDAY: Isaiah 5: 1-7, Philippians 3: 4b-14, S. Matthew 21: 33-end