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 1:18-25 Jesus Adopted

Sun, 20/12/2015 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

It’s easy to feel sorry for Joseph. He finds the girl of his dreams. They get engaged to be married. And then he discovers she’s pregnant.

What is Joseph to do? Most people would react in one of two ways. Some would simply forgive. Everyone makes mistakes, and this is Mary’s. Let draw a line on under it. We won’t speak of this again. For others, that would be too hard. They could never forgive unfaithfulness like this. The wedding’s off, and if Mary is humiliated in the process it’s no more than she deserved.

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Matthew 1:1-17 Jesus Anchored

Sun, 13/12/2015 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Well, wasn't that reading boring?!

Some bits of the Bible leave you wondering why they're there. And this is one of them.

In fact, it's worse than that! This is how Matthew chose to open his gospel. It's even how the New Testament begins. Plenty of people attempt to read the whole Old Testament, and give up when they get bogged down in long lists of names and obscure laws. But surely you should be able to read the New Testament without getting stuck on page one!

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Philippians 4:4-7 Rejoice!

Sun, 29/11/2015 - 10:00 -- James Oakley

This morning, we’re going to be talking about joy.

I don’t know whether the thought of talking about joy fills you with joy, or not!

We are at the end of Paul’s letter to the Philippians. For a while, we worked our way through this letter, during our quarterly combined services. We had a break last year for our Bible tour, and we’ve done other things so far this year. But it’s time to return to the letter, so we don’t miss the closing sections.

As Paul wraps up, he gives the Philippians some general instructions that he wants to leave them with.

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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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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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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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