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…

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…

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…

Two types of prodigal. Two types of Father.

Writing about David, Absalom, Judas and Jesus reminded me of this thread I posted a couple of years ago on the return of two prodigal sons. When reading through 2 Samuel, I was struck by how vastly different Absalom’s return to David is in 2 Samuel 14ff, compared to the return of the younger brother…

Kiss the Son: David, Absalom, Judas and Jesus

I am currently taking a slow journey through the Psalms; roughly a Psalm a week, which I’m pondering across a few days, alongside my other readings. I’m really enjoying the slow pace, and the repeated reading, and I’m being hugely helped by James Hamilton’s brilliant commentary, which has made me appreciate how carefully arranged the…

Advent Reflection: The assumptions of Mary

‘“Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne…

Advent Reflection: Five strands to the blessing of Elizabeth and Zechariah

‘In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. But they were childless because Elizabeth…