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A meal with Jesus

On Sunday 24th June 2012 Chris Mason spoke from Luke 14 where Jesus, in discussion with His dinner guests over whether you can heal someone on the Sabbath, tells the parable of the wedding feast.

The parable challenges the whole social hierachy and honour of mealtimes and therefore what is important in the Kingdom of God when it comes to sharing what is probably the most regular and intimate social gathering we partake in.  As part of our discussion, we reflected that society often views mealtimes around themselves - this is a time for me to eat, to have people i want round for dinner, to show off a little, eat well etc.  Jesus, in painting a picture of an eternal mealtime where everyone is equal before a glorious host, suggests you place yourself at the bottom and allow others to raise you up, to give you honour and status.  Much bigger than mealtimes, Jesus is challenging the whole religious mindset and purpose of the law.  The people around Jesus' table as he's telling this parable would have been excellent law keepers and yet perhaps they had missed the point of a law that was meant to display to the world the glory of God and a people that know how to care for one another in the light of God's mercy and grace to them.  Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?

We challenged each other to think about who we share the table with.  Who we have round for meals.  What is our heart motivation for it?

As a follow up to this talk, we'd like to suggest a book for further reading.  'A meal with Jesus' by Tim Chester goes much much further into this parable and others rediscovering the true meaning of the meal and the transforming power it can have in bringing the gospel to our city, nation and world.  It really is worth a read - it may even transform your eating habits!

Dan Kingsley
27th June 2012

A meal with Jesus

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Looking ahead

We like dreaming.  We like planning.  We like asking God what’s next.

Over the past year it feels like The Oak has begun to get it’s roots down into God and into the communities where we live.  We’re beginning to figure out how to bless those around us and serve our city together.  There are a million ideas bubbling up from Life Groups and Missional Communities and we are excited about what might happen in this part of Leeds and Bradford.

With that in mind, we wanted to share with you in written word what we’ve begun to communicate through conversation. 

Lisa and I think this autumn will be significant for us as individuals and as a church.  The autumn term is often one where we’re refocused, re-energised and ready to dig deep and work hard.  We’ve had some prophetic words of late that have likened this next season for us at The Oak to ‘soaring’ (like birds in the air) and we’d certainly like to do that.  But to soar means to commit to the journey and commit to the climb.

 

There are three things we’re doing to respond to where God might be leading us:

1. Having talked with the leaders at Mosaic Church and other Churches supporting us, we are beginning to meet informally (BBQ’s and the like) with a few men and women from The Oak who seem to have character, competency and a chemistry with Lisa and I that could work in eventually forming a Leadership Team.  This is a growing process that will hopefully lead to us appointing some form of leadership Team around Christmas Time.

2. We are in conversation with the incredible Dan Hockley, who has been giving The Oak a day a week on top of his normal service to work and serve the church, about coming on staff for one additional day.  This will mean he will work one day as a volunteer and one day on paid staff with a specific remit of increasing our missional impact in the city.

3. We are offering a one year part-time internship at The Oak beginning September 2012.  Interns will work on 1-2 projects, take part in leadership and staff training and serve at our Family Gatherings (if you’re interested please speak to me).  We already have two people interested in serving us!
As you might have guessed, we’re very excited about what September holds – please pray for us.  If you have any comments on the above steps that would be helpful in our decision making over the next few months, please email us.

Thanks
Chris & Lisa
Team Leaders at The Oak

Chris Mason
21st May 2012

Looking ahead

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ADVENT [ad-vent] meaning ‘Coming’

Tis the season to be jolly – yes it really is.  Advent is the season of the year when those that believe in Jesus, and to be honest most of the western world, celebrate His coming as a baby into this world.

Phillipians 2 tells us that “though he (Jesus) was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.”

Isaiah the prophet who lived 750 years before Jesus was born looked forward and saw that “in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned” – like a the suns light filling the landscape changing darkness into light before you actually see the sun in appearance, so Jesus’s coming was foretold so far in advance – a light was shining and the landscape of humanity would be changed forever.

Week 1 of Advent is about HOPE.  The hope found in the coming of Jesus.  The story of Zechariah, John the Baptists dad, in the gospel of John helps us to see this hope in reality.  The baby John is a miracle child, born to a old baron woman who conceives a child who will be full of the Holy Spirit for his whole life and bring many people of Israel back to God – a hope of redemption, a light is dawning, the King is coming.

Then Jesus himself will come to bring hope not just for the Jews but for the rest of us too – hope is coming – you and me can receive relationship with God.

Then He will come again.  After Jesus’ death and resurrection He ascended to be in Glory with God the Father leaving His Holy Spirit with those who believe in Him – a seal – a hope of what is to come – a eternity with God in Glory – full restoration and redemption.

Advent isn’t a calendar event – it’s narrowing of our gaze season that allows us to see the coming of Jesus not just as a birth day, but as the coming of a new Kingdom, a light shining in the darkness.

Chris Mason
14th December 2011

ADVENT [ad-vent] meaning ‘Coming’

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