Isaiah 1-12

Isaiah 11-12 Happily Ever After

Sun, 22/11/2015 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

“… and they all lived happily ever after.”

So ends the fairy tale. We all love a story that ends well. It’s heart-warming. More importantly, we’d all like to be living in a story that ends well. Living where we do, with the story of life, the universe and everything still unfolding, there is much that is not good. So we need the reassurance that, for all the current struggles we face, we are at least living in a story that ends well. Do we get to live happily ever after?

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Isaiah 10:5-25 The Axe and the Woodcutter

Sun, 15/11/2015 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

I want us to talk about two things this morning: Terror and trust. What do you fear? And what do you rely on in life?

We’re baptising three children this morning. I don’t need to tell you that they will grow up in a world that can be a frightening place. To be honest, adults can find it frightening, too.

And against that backdrop, the Bible passage we just heard asks us those two questions: What do we find frightening? And in a world with much to frighten us, what will we lean on for support?

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Isaiah 7 Faith Under Attack

Sun, 18/10/2015 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

So, who’s your daddy? We can easily tell with Araya? She’s a spitting image of Stuart. We can all see who her daddy is.

Although whether she’ll live up to the family name is something we’re all going to have to wait to see.

It’s one thing to look like your parents. But the real thing we care about is whether someone behaves like their parents, or at least lives in a way that reflects well on the family name.

That’s the question that’s running through Isaiah chapter 7. Who’s your daddy? This time, the question is not being asked of Araya, but of king Ahaz.

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Isaiah 6 Merciful and Mighty

Sun, 11/10/2015 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

There are two kinds of religion in the world.

Some think of God as distant. He’s all-powerful, he’s far above us mere mortals. And so he’s impersonal, and he cannot be truly known. This is the classic Muslim view of God, although many modern Muslims are rewriting that part of their religion.

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Isaiah 5 Bad Vintage

Sun, 27/09/2015 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Many years ago, a friend of ours won an award at work. His prize was a meal for two, up to £100. “Can I give this prize to a friend?” he asked. He could. “Does it matter if that friend would never be an employee or customer of the company?” That was fine, too. So Liz and I got to enjoy a lovely meal out, paid for by his company. And in those days, £100 got you a pretty decent meal as well. Extraordinarily kind. And one of many ways that friends have been kind over the years.

What’s the kindest thing that anyone has ever done for you? How do you respond to such kindness?

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Isaiah 2 To End All Wars

Sun, 20/09/2015 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that I hate war. I hate the nations fighting, the damage to property, the loss of life, the grief, the trauma, the memories soldiers cannot shake. I would love to live in a world where there is no war.

Who’s with me? It’s so obvious, you don’t even need to put up your hand. We all are.

After the Second World War, the United Nations we know today was formed with just 51 member states. Today, there are 193, but the aim is the same: To try and get nations to work together, talk together, rather than fight each other.

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Isaiah 1 Cry Freedom

Sun, 13/09/2015 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

“If that’s what Christianity is about, I’m not interested”. That’s what many people say about the church. Let’s be honest. Look at the way we behave, the way we relate to one another. We’re often not the best ambassadors for Jesus Christ.

It’s not a new problem.

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