Central Presbyterian Church

Massillon, Ohio

"Navigating Faith"

Text: Genesis 12:1-9

Romans 4:13, 18-25

            My wife would tell you that I’m generally a better pilot than I am a navigator. I’m okay at steering the vehicle, but not necessarily in the right direction. When on vacation, or in an unfamiliar place, I sometimes have a tendency to wander around hoping we’ll just happen to drive past the hotel where we have reservations, or the restaurant we’ve heard serves a great dish of pasta, or the attraction that we’ve been told is a must see. It’s been said that this is a “male thing.”

"A Matter of Faith"

Text: John 20:1-10

Hosea 6:-13

On this first Sunday after Easter, let me make this statement: The bodily resurrection of Jesus is less a matter of fact, and more a matter of faith. Put another way, Jesus’ resurrection is not so much about seeing, but much more about believing. Understand that I’m not in any way denying the reality and the truth of Jesus’ bodily resurrection. I personally believe that Jesus’ was indeed physically raised from death to life.

"Christ Lives!"

Text: Luke 24:1-12

Isaiah 25:6-9

            What is the meaning of Easter? For many in this day and age, Easter has become something of a springtime version of Christmas. I’m not talking about Christmas as a religious observance of the birth of Jesus. I’m talking about Christmas as the worldly celebration of materialism and excess it has morphed into. Somehow, in fairly recent history, Easter is morphing into that same beast.

"Jesus' Sixth Expression: Finished"

Text: John 19:28-30

John 12:12-16


Two weeks ago, we talked about Jesus’ fifth word or expression spoken from the cross. As recorded by John, Jesus’ cried out – to the best of His ability considering His physical state – “I am thirsty.” As we had discussed at that time, this thirst had more than one layer of meaning.

"Jesus' Fourth Expression: Abandonment"

Text: Exodus 16:1-3, 9-15

Mark 15:33-34


This morning, we continue our Lenten sermon series on Jesus’ last seven words or expressions from the cross. I propose to set this fourth word side-by-side with an episode in the history of the ancient Hebrews. Let’s begin there.

"Jesus' Fifth Expression: Thirst"

Text: John 19:28-29

Psalm 22:9-21


As I had mentioned last Sunday, we’re going to skip over the fourth word for the time being and focus on Jesus fifth word or expression, a mere three words: “I am thirsty;” certainly an appropriate theme for this morning as we celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Let’s now read the full text which holds that fifth word from the cross.

"Jesus' Third Expression: Family"

Text: John 19:25b-27

Luke 8:19-21


            This morning, we continue our sermon series on Jesus’ seven last expressions from the cross. This third expression or word is recorded by John alone, who himself was among those huddled at the foot of the cross on that dark Friday, which we in hindsight call “Good Friday.” But there was nothing good about it at the time.

"Jesus' Second Expression: Paradise"

Text: Luke 23:39-43

Psalm 9:13-14


            Let’s do a little contextual up-ramping before we read the passage containing Jesus so-called “second word” or “expression” from the cross. The scene is chaotic, turbulent, noisy. Dozens, scores, maybe even hundreds are milling around the scene of Jesus’ execution. He is hanging on the middle cross. Hanging on His left and right are two others who are simply referred to by Luke as “criminals.”

"Jesus' First Expression: Forgive"

Text: Luke 23:34

Matthew 18:21-35


            On this 1st Sunday of Lent, we begin a sermon series which will carry us through the next six Sun- days, and will conclude on the Thursday of Holy Week which we call “Maundy Thursday.” Over these weeks, we will explore Jesus’ last seven words – or perhaps a better way to put it is Jesus’ “last seven expressions” – as recorded by evangelists Mark, Luke and John.

"Why Do We Have to Keep Doing This?"

Text: Exodus 12:11b-14, 25-27

Luke 22:14-20


            Many years ago when my son Lou was in elementary school, he sat at the dining room table evening-after-evening writing those ghastly multiplication tables. He knew that however many times he did it, two times two would always equal four, and nine times five would always equal forty-five, and seven times nine would always equal sixty-three. Being more logical than academic, Lou asked a very logical question: “Why do I have to keep doing this?”