Central Presbyterian Church

Massillon, Ohio

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"The Seven Deadlies; Invidia and Avarita

Genesis 4:1-12

Luke 12:13-21

     This morning, we’re going to consider the second and fourth of the seven deadly sins:  envy and

greed.  Dante, the great Italian poet of the late 13th century, has called envy a “sin of perverted love,”

in that it loves what other people possess rather than loving what is good, and beautiful, and true. 

Along those same lines, Dante has grouped greed with lust and gluttony, calling them all sins of

“excessive love of earthly things.”  A few minutes ago, we heard the reading of an Old Testament text

which delivers the first Biblical account of the consequences of envy, exposing it as deadly in both the

literal and the spiritual sense.  Now I would like to share with you a New Testament text – a parable of

of Jesus – which speaks of the sin of greed, and its deadly consequences.

          (Read Luke 12:13-21)

"The Seven Deadlies: Suberbia"

Selections from Proverbs, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Matthew

Philippians 2: 1-11

      How many of you are familiar with what are called “the seven deadly sins?”  If you come from a Roman

Catholic background, you may know them by heart.  If you’re a lifelong Protestant, you probably

have heard of them, but were never required to memorize them as part of your confirmation process. 

Protestant or Catholic notwithstanding, this is a relevant topic to approach, especially during the liturgical

season of Lent, which calls Christians to authentic practices of spiritual discipline, confession, and penitence. 

"Glorious Light"  Rev. Ben George

Matthew 17:1-9

Exodus 34:29-35

"Of People Pleasing, Expectations, and True Healing"

Mark 1: 40-45

Psalm 30

     How many of us sitting in the sanctuary this morning tend to be what are called “people pleasers”

In a nutshell, those who are people pleasers just want folks to be happy with them.  And how do they

do that?  Most people pleasers will bend themselves into pretzels in order to meet the desires, the

wishes, and the expectations of others.  While people pleasers generally avoid conflict by giving in to

others, they usually exhaust themselves in the process, leading to inner-conflict and self-doubt.

      The more familiar we become with the gospel accounts of Jesus’ life, the more we realize that Jesus

was no people pleaser.  That’s not to say that Jesus didn’t care about other’s wishes, desires and

expectations.  He did.  He simply didn’t allow Himself to be controlled by them.  Jesus didn’t make the

agendas of others His own.   So it was that time and again, Jesus fell short of meeting people’s expectations.

"Advice on Dealing with Anger"

Ephesians 4:26-27, 31-32

Mark 11:11-12, 15-19

      “How could you do that!?!” Cindy screeched at her husband Al.  “You make me furious!”  With that, Cindy slammed the kitchen cabinet door with such force that all the spice jars jumped out of the rack on the side of the cabinet and crashed into the sink.  Without so much as a word, Al did one of those quiet storm things out of the kitchen.  He went straightaway to his shed where he began working on his lawn tractor.  Like most guys, Al often released his anger through physical exertion.  That made him a standout linebacker in high school, and a very productive mechanic in his adult life.  Meanwhile, Cindy remained in the kitchen simmering her beef stew, and simmering her feelings.  Al’s anger dissipated.  Feeling guilty, and being the Christian woman she was, Cindy changed the label for her emotions from anger to hurt.

"The Bread of Life"

John 6: 35-37, 48-60,66

Isaiah 55: 1-5

In the Gospel according to John, we find what are commonly called the seven “I am” sayings;

in the Greek language, “ego emi.”  According to John’s witness, Jesus often used metaphors to

clarify His identity and the nature of His mission.  For example, Jesus once made this claim about

Himself:  “Ego emi (I am) ha poimen ha kalos (the good shepherd).”  Metaphorically, we are like

lost sheep.  One element of Jesus’ mission – as He understood it – was to find us and lead us back

into God’s fold.  Centuries earlier, a king named David recognized – and perhaps even had some

divine foresight -- that “The Lord is my shepherd….. he leads me in right paths for his name’s

sake.” Jesus said, “I am.” 

"The Joseph Blessing"

Genesis 39: 1-6a

Psalm 105: 16-22

 

There are two famous Joseph’s in the Bible.  The Joseph folks are most familiar with is the New

Testament Joseph; carpenter in Nazareth; husband of Mary and earthly father of Jesus.  The other

famous if less familiar Joseph is a character we meet in the very first book of the Old Testament.

Before we read our lead text from Genesis, let’s spend a few minutes getting to know this Joseph.

      He was born the eleventh son of Jacob, and the first born son to Jacob’s second wife Rachel,

whom Jacob deeply loved.  The boy Joseph was the apple of Jacob’s eye, and was surely raised as

such.  His ten older brothers were born to Jacob’s first wife Leah, to Leah’s maiden Zilpah, and to

Rachel’s maiden Bilhah.  Needless to say, men of that era were not monogamous.  In a manner of

speaking, they liked to spread their seed around.

"Of Dukie, Stillwagon, and Restoration"

Romans 12:14-21

Matthew 18:15-22

 

     The few verses we’re going to focus our attention on this morning are part of a larger body of Jesus’

teaching about the kingdom of God.  This discourse is prompted by a question from His disciples: 

“Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

"In the Details"

Titus 3:4-8a

Luke 3:15-22

     One day when Cory was just three, his grandma came over to babysit him.  Cory’s parents

were going to be gone a few hours, so his mom set out some of Cory’s favorite DVD’s. Grand-

ma was all for it as there was a limit as to how much time she could spend on the floor playing

with Cory’s trucks and dinosaurs.  There was only one problem.  Grandma was not very tech

savvy, and it required three different remote controls to watch a movie; one for the TV, one for

the surround sound receiver, and another for the DVD player.  She expressed her concern:  “I

don’t think I can remember which buttons to push.  Maybe you’d better write it down for me.” 

Mom just laughed and reassured her, “Don’t worry about it.  Cory knows which buttons to push.”

"Arise, Shine: For Your Light Has Come!"

Isaiah 60: 1-6

1 Peter 2: 9-10

      There was once a pastor of a small country church in South Carolina who was known as one

of the thriftiest persons in Aiken County.  In order to keep the air conditioning bills down in the

summer, every night, the good parson would walk around the sanctuary opening the windows to

the cooler evening air.  Then each morning, he would just as methodically close them before the

morning sun began to beat down on the building.  In fact, he was so thrifty that he didn’t want to

waste electricity switching on the lights for his nightly ritual.  He had become pretty good at navigating

in the dark from window to window.  But sometimes, he would manage to bump into a massive oak table

which sat at the rear of the sanctuary.  Have you ever known one of those high-energy people who

always move fast, almost like a bee buzzing from place to place?  That’s how

the good pastor walked, even in the pitch dark.  So after banging into that oak table at excess of

four miles an hour, he’d be left with a Charley-horse or a wicked stubbed toe.  As he limped or

walked stiffly around the town of Graniteville, South Carolina, everyone knew that the pastor was

trying to save the church money, again.

Central Presbyterian Church

47 Second Street NE
Massillon, Ohio 44646

Telephone: 330-832-7455
Fax: 330-832-7102