September is here, a new year has a begun! Perhaps more than usual this year, the autumn can be a time of particular hope, vision, and expectation. As people move to Oxford during Sept-Oct, it’s our habit to take a few weeks looking at our vision as a church. But this autumn, we’re spending four weeks looking at both vision and money. Why would we do that?!
As we looked at Isaiah 51-52 we saw the repeated encouragement (that's a gentle British way of saying "challenge"!) from God to his people to wake up, and really get what he wants to say and show them. A short paraphrase of the passage could read: "Listen, listen, listen! Awake, awake; awake, awake; awake, awake!"
In my Sunday message from Isaiah 42-44, I commented on the prophetic words shared with OCC earlier in the year. Will you join with me in prayerfully reflecting on these words, and asking that God will he help us see what he wants to do in our city and communities?
Who loves the sound of the alarm clock waking you up in the morning! Are you leaper-out-of-bed, a snoozer, or a coffee-grabber?
On Sundays at OCC, we're just starting a series exploring the message of Isaiah, one of the so-called 'major prophets' in the Old Testament (OT). Why are we looking at an obscure part of the Bible, when there is plenty of more straightforward teaching in the New Testament (NT)
The start of a new year provides an opportunity to pause, to pray, and to reflect. But this January, we might feel like we've traded New Year's Resolutions for New Year's Restrictions. Last January, we had no idea what 2020 would hold. As we enter 2021, we are prompted to look to the only One who knows the future, and ask what He is doing.
What is God's New Year's Resolution?
On Sunday 3rd January, Steve Thomas (OCC's founding pastor) prophesied to us from Isaiah 43 & 44.
We've come to the end of our Autumn 2020 series IDENTITY. Although it was unexpectedly disturbed by another lockdown, meaning we had to interact online instead of in-person, it has been a rich series.
We've explored God, and who he is - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - and who we are in relation to him.
So, we're 3 weeks into our 9 weeks Sunday series on IDENTITY! How's it going for you?
The series comes in 3 parts, each of 3 weeks:
We've concluded 3 weeks looking at God the Father, and how we find our identity as His children, in relation to Him. He has adopted us and wants us to see ourselves as He sees us.
We're about to start 3 weeks looking at God the Son, and how His momentous death and resurrection was a pivot-point in world history, changing how we relate to God. We're going to see how to walk in forgiveness and the dignity of who we are in Christ.
We're very excited about our new series - IDENTITY - starting this Sunday 4 October. This series was planned for the Summer 2020 term and then postponed due to COVID, so it's been in the pipeline for ages and we're delighted to finally get to it. IDENTITY will ask who God is, and how we get to be in relation to him! In other words, how our true identity as humans is found in relationship with our loving heavenly Father.