Matthew 5:1-48 - Following Jesus: The View from Space

Sun, 21/10/2012 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Last Sunday, Felix Baumgartner broke a number of world records. He jumped out of a helium balloon from 24 miles up in the sky. There is hardly any air, the sky is black, and the earth looks like a ball. Ten minutes later, he’d broken the speed of sound, and achieved the record for the world’s highest skydive and the world’s longest free-fall.

From up there, he could see the whole earth. Take it in at a glance.

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Matthew 4:23-25 - Sickness

Sun, 22/04/2012 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

This morning, we’re going to talk about sickness. Being ill. Getting better.

It won’t have escaped your attention that the NHS is struggling at the moment.

Let’s be clear: I’m not making a political point.

There has been more tinkering done to the NHS in the past 15 years than in the whole of the 50 years that went before it. Different governments have done different things.

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Matthew 4:12-17 - Light in a dark world

Sun, 11/03/2012 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

We live in a world that is frequently dark, and that frequently lacks hope.

There is much that is good about living in Britain today. But our country, our lives, all at times need an injection of hope, of life, of light. Some words: Street crime. Unemployment. 1960s tower blocks. Economic downturn. Redundancy. Yobs. Drought. Petrol prices. Bereavement. Pain.

The Christian message is a message of hope. We have a real hope in the face of all the things that are gloomy about life. But God’s answer to our greatest needs is somewhat surprising.

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Matthew 4:1-11 - Hope for failures

Sun, 26/02/2012 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

This is not the full text of a sermon, but notes and an outline of what was said:

Failure crushes. “I’m not a very good Christian”. Despite our best intentions – we let God down. I’ve had periods of life (as I’m sure every Christian here has) when we’ve made the same mistakes over and over again. We just never seem to get on top of them.

Read this passage, can make us feel worse. Read Jesus being tempted. Here we see the sins we commit. Most of the ways we fail are captured here.

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Matthew 3:13-17 - Who is Jesus?

Sun, 19/02/2012 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Who is Jesus?

That’s our question for this morning.

And before we think, too quickly, that we know exactly who he is, we need to stop and consider two things. Firstly, it’s a brave person who stands up and says they’ve got Jesus pegged. With someone as rich, as big as Jesus, there’s always more to discover.

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Matthew 3:1-12 - Jesus, the one you can't ignore

Sun, 22/01/2012 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Jesus is the one person you cannot ignore.

Many people think he can be ignored. Many people try to ignore him. But he is the one person you cannot ignore forever, and if you’re in your right mind you wouldn’t want to ignore him.

Matthew has told us enough of Jesus’ childhood to introduce him to us. We’re about to meet the adult Jesus. But before Jesus takes the stage, God sends one last Old Testament prophet to announce his arrival. John comes on: “Ladies and Gentlemen, would you please all welcome…”

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Matthew 2:13-23

Sun, 15/01/2012 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

It’s easy to start to believe that Jesus is insignificant. Maybe some of our friends think he’s not worth much bother. Maybe it’s the media. But it’s easy to start to get worried. Perhaps he is nothing special. Perhaps he is just a figure from 2000 years ago, who had a few good ideas, and lived well, but doesn’t have much to offer for today. It’s easy for that to start to niggle you.

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Matthew 2:1-12 - Jesus, king of the world

Sun, 08/01/2012 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Do you ever feel that Christianity is a relatively small thing.

If you live in this country, in this decade, you could be forgiven for feeling that at times.

The Telegraph recently reported that numbers attending churches are increasing, but that was only news because it’s been decreasing for so long.

It can seem that lots of people used to fill our churches. Our laws used to be framed on Christian principles. But that was then and this is now.

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Matthew 5:38-48 - Revenge

Sun, 16/10/2011 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

It seems to me that our society today is driven by the 3 Rs. Rights Revenge and Relations. That’s to say, we’re driven by a concern to hold onto our Rights, we want to hold onto what is ours. We’re driven by a need for Revenge, we want to take back what should be ours. And we’re driven by loyalty to our Relations, we all have an inner circle of family and a few friends and our main task is to be loyal to them. Rights. Revenge and Relations.

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