Sermons

From time to time I put sermons I give up here. Not because I think they are particularly good, even less that they are model sermons. I can't even guarantee that I agree with everything I said then - I am (of course) learning all the time. But someone may be interested.

You can use the filters below to restrict which sermons you see. Sermons will be sorted newest first, which means that they appear in reverse order from that in which they were delivered.

Matthew 15:1-20 (part 2): External ceremonies

Sun, 18/02/2018 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Last week, we were thinking about how easily a religion can become a clique. An exclusive club, that leaves you feeling left out if you’re not one of the initiated ones.

Judaism was never meant to be exclusive. God gave his people great privilege, so that they might share this with all the nations. But instead of sharing those privileges, they’d hoarded them.

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Matthew 15:1-20 (part 1): Human traditions

Sun, 11/02/2018 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Religions can make for very exclusive clubs. A clique. It can be hard to break in from outside. All kinds of little signals that you don’t belong. You don’t know how things are done around here. So it’s hard to fit in.

Ancient Judaism was never meant to be a clique. God’s plan was for the people of Israel to be a light to the nations. Their privileges were meant to be shared. Instead, they’d become something to feel superior about. Which meant it was hard for those who were not Jews to break in, to become part of God’s people.

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Matthew 14:22-36: Stay in the Boat!

Sun, 28/01/2018 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Many of us know from experience that the waters of life are not always calm. Things can get decidedly choppy.

A number of us have had the experience of Jesus being with us and looking after us in the stormy times. But others would say that those times have been even harder because Jesus has felt absent.

Today’s Bible story is for everyone who’s known a season when their life is like rowing into the wind. And for everyone who will ever have such a season. Which means all of us.

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Matthew 14:13-21: Not Bring and Share

Sun, 21/01/2018 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

What do you make of the person of Jesus? To many he was little more than one of the great figures of history. A good teacher, who said some memorable and wise things. Some doubt he even existed. To Christians, he’s much more than a good teacher. He’s our Lord and our God. Our Saviour and our King.

To work out what you make of him, you’d need to look at the evidence. It’s something many people have never done. Look at the evidence for Jesus’ claims.

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Isaiah 60: The Light Shines

Sun, 17/12/2017 - 19:00 -- James Oakley

A talk from 9 Lessons and Carols in 2017.


The world can be a dark place.

It’s been quite a year. I searched the internet for newspaper headlines from 2017. I got many screens full, from all over the world.

Here are some:
Suspected cop killer shot dead.
British meat in horse hormone scandal.
Carnage at pop concert.
NHS cuts 15000 beds in 6 years.
UK relations with Russia at all-time low.
Trump ready to strike Kim’s nuclear sites.
Some victims of tower blaze may never be identified.

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Daniel 10-12: The Last Battle

Sun, 17/12/2017 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Let me ask you a question. Is history haphazard, or is it going somewhere? Is it like watching tennis, as the ball of power gets passed from one nation to the other, and then back? Or is it like going on a journey? For all the twists and turns in the road, we’re heading to a destination?

This effects how you live. If history is haphazard, there’s no more to life than making the most of the hand you get dealt. If history is going somewhere, your life needs to line up with where things are going.

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Daniel 9: Waiting for God

Sun, 10/12/2017 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Life can be tough. And we come to God, come to church, read the Bible, wanting to feel better. And often we do. But sometimes, God raises our hopes that things will get better, not just that we’ll feel better. We have to live in a world where there’s a mismatch. A mismatch between the promises of God and the realities of life. A mismatch between sermons that invite us to trust God and a life that feels like it’s falling apart anyway.

Daniel knew all about this. He was in captivity, in Babylon. And then he opened his Bible.

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Daniel 8: The ram and the goat

Sun, 26/11/2017 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

On Thursday, we had our monthly church prayer meeting.

We prayed for Christians in Egypt. Here’s a report from one website:

Coptic Christians in Egypt do not accept the condition of submission imposed on Christians in Islamic societies: they continue to build churches and even promote television networks to spread the Christian proclamation. This is why they must be attacked as "infidel fighters", and their churches must be blown up. This is, in short, the message of instigation.

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