One off sermons

2 Corinthians 8:9 - More Presents Please! (Carol Service)

Sun, 18/12/2016 - 19:00 -- James Oakley

Apparently Christmas has been hijacked.

It’s supposed to be about the birth of Jesus. It’s become all about giving presents.

I’m the vicar. I’m supposed to tell people to focus less on the presents, and more on the real meaning of Christmas.

I’m not going to do that! Because the real meaning of Christmas is all about giving presents. In fact, the more you grasp what Christmas is really about, the more you’ll want to give things to other people.

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Psalm 45: Royal Privileges

Sun, 12/06/2016 - 18:30 -- James Oakley

A sermon given at a special celebration service for the 90th birthday of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II

One of my favourite moments is standing at the church door just before a wedding begins. Waiting for the bride. And then she comes. What a privilege to share that moment! Such emotion. Deep excitement. Thrill. The joy of seeing all her friends waiting. But also nerves. The day is finally here. It’s a big step. Tears. Smiles. Wanting to get on with it. Feeling flustered. All at once.

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John 16:12-15 Can God be Truly Known?

Sun, 22/05/2016 - 09:15 -- James Oakley

Can we be certain what God is like?

I know we can’t know everything about him. God is infinite, and we have tiny minds by comparison. We couldn’t hold it all in our heads, even if it was possible to discover everything about him.

But that’s not what I’m asking. Can we know anything about God with absolute certainty?

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John 20:24-31 Doubting Thomas; Believing Us

Sun, 27/03/2016 - 19:00 -- James Oakley

They call him doubting Thomas.

All because of this story. Jesus had appeared alive to the other disciples. Only Thomas wasn’t in the room at the time. And he found it just too hard to believe.

Personally, I’m rather glad he struggled. It makes the story real.

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1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 Hope in the Midst of Grief

Sun, 06/03/2016 - 18:30 -- James Oakley

A sermon from our annual memorial service, held for those who have lost someone they love in recent years or longer ago.

The Christian message is such good news! It offers hope. Not insubstantial hope, no more than wishful thinking that all would be well. But real, solid hope. Actual promises from God that he will not fail to keep.

There is a danger in talking like that. The danger of pretending life is neater than it is. All of us here tonight know that losing someone we love hurts a great deal. Grief is painful and all too real.

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Ephesians 6:10-20 Fight the Good Fight

Sun, 08/11/2015 - 09:45 -- James Oakley

(A sermon for Remembrance Sunday)

I have a momentous and important announcement to make.

We are at war!

No, I’m not speaking about Syria. Or Iraq. Or Afghanistan.

Those are wars we can see. I’m talking about another war. This one, you can’t see. But it’s just as real, and even more important.

Because as well as the world you can see, there’s a whole world you can’t. Angels are real. The devil is real, and so are bad angels that we call demons.

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Philemon: Cry Freedom

Sun, 09/08/2015 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

One of my heroes is the Member of Parliament for Hull, in the year 1780, William Wilberforce. He went on to be elected Member of Parliament for Yorkshire in 1784, always an independent MP. The following year, he became a Christian, and wondered whether he should leave politics. He carried on, but his new found faith gave him a sharp social conscience. He sought to use his position in Parliament to campaign for issues he felt strongly about, and one of those was the trade in slaves from Africa to work in the West Indies.

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Daniel 7 Our Man in Heaven

Thu, 14/05/2015 - 19:45 -- James Oakley

How do they keep going?

Christian parents in Iraq told that their children will be executed if they don’t renounce their faith. How do they keep living for Christ at that moment?

The lady in this area, who becomes a Christian. Goes home, and tells her husband. He didn’t mind her going to church, but he doesn’t want her taking it this seriously, he says. How does she keep going?

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Matthew 24:45-51 - Please hold on, I'll be with you shortly

Sun, 23/12/2012 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Last time, we asked the question: Are we ready for Jesus to come back?

Jesus himself clearly taught that the day will come when he returns to this earth. He won’t come back as a baby, he’ll be a grown man. He won’t come back in obscurity, in one Middle-Eastern village; he’ll come back in a way that nobody will miss. He won’t come back in weakness; he’ll come back in splendid power and glory, as king of the world and judge of every human being.

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Matthew 24:36-44 - No one knows

Sun, 16/12/2012 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

We're in the period of advent, which is the period of 4 weeks running up to Christmas, when traditionally Christians prepare to celebrate the coming of Jesus.

But there’s a deliberately two-edged feel to advent. We prepare to celebrate Jesus’ first coming, his birth at Bethlehem. But we also remind ourselves that Jesus will come again, and the other focus for Advent is preparing ourselves for that great event.

And so the question for this morning is this: Are you ready for the day when Jesus will come back?

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