God: The Just and Gracious Judge

On Sunday I continued our series at Oxford Community Church on the character of God, and I spoke on the theme of God as the Just and Gracious Judge. In particular we considered: We covered a lot of ground! I trust some of it will be helpful to you. If you’re interested, you can check…

To us a child is born (Isaiah 9.2-7)

On Sunday I had the privilege of speaking on the throne titles of the Messiah in Isaiah 9. This amazing passage, written 700 years before the coming of Jesus, introduces him as the light who breaks in to the darkness of the world. In this talk, we consider how Jesus is: If you’re interested, you…

The Messiah formerly known as Prince of Peace

It’s nearly Christmas. Which means it’s that time of year where Isaiah 9 gets its annual outing. This is an amazing chapter, prophesying the birth of the Messiah, who will bring great light to people walking in darkness. And he shall be called, ‘Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.’ (Isaiah 9.6) There is so much in…

2022 Reading Roundup

It’s that time of year where people humblebrag about how much they read, under the pretence of making recommendations for others. You can hardly move on Twitter for end of year reading lists. And Phil Whittall’s roundup of roundups takes it to an Inception-level extreme – lists within lists. As Qoheleth might have said, ‘Of…

Learning to Listen in a Lonely World

‘You can be lonely anywhere, but there is a particular flavour to the loneliness that comes from living in a city, surrounded by millions of people.’ Olivia Laing – The Lonely City In her haunting book, The Lonely City, Olivia Laing explores the theme of loneliness, especially as experienced in urban contexts. Loneliness is not…

Living Sacrifice: Four talks on Romans 12

Last week Helen and I had the privilege of speaking at a weekend away for Wheatley Community Church. It was such a fun weekend getting to know them better, and serving them. We were certainly grateful for the way they welcomed and embraced us as a family, and I also loved the opportunity for me…

Joseph and Restoration (Genesis 42-45)

On Sunday I had the privilege of preaching at Oxford Community Church, continuing a series on the life of Joseph. We looked at Genesis 42-45, this long stretch in which Joseph is reunited with his brothers after 22 years. But rather than revealing his identity to them immediately, he puts his brothers through a series…

The Bible in Four Minutes

How do you quickly and effectively summarise a story as complex as the Bible? Impossible, you might think. But storyteller-poet Dai Woolridge has given it a pretty good shot! His latest video tells biblical story in four minutes, weaving together many of the key themes and threads, showing how they connect beautifully around the person…

The Provocation of Hope

‘Hope is never mere, even when it is meagre. When all other senses sleep, the eye of hope is first to awaken, last to shut.’ (Gil-Galad, The Rings of Power, Season 1, Episode 5) I’ve been thinking recently about the theme of hope, prompted by a few verses from the Epistles (and that quote from…

Learning to pray on Gethsemane roundabout

This strange little roundabout is a few minutes from my house. The first time I walked across it, taking my then-five-year-old daughter to school, she declared: “Oh, I know this place from my Bible! It’s the Garden of Gethsemane.” It was a strange thing for her to say. Gethsemane in her storybook Bible looks far…