Central Presbyterian Church

Massillon, Ohio

"The Long Arm of God's Grace"

Text: 1 Peter 3:18-22

Isaiah 55:6-9


     Early in the 16th century, an artist by the name of Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni was commissioned by Pope Julius II to paint the ceiling of what would become known as the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican.

"The Point of Know Return"

Text: Luke 13:31-35

Philippians 3:20-4:1


            Before we read this morning’s primary text, I’d first like to read some lyrics of a song the older of us may recognize from the 1970’s. The words were co-written by Steve Walsh, Phil Ehart, and Robby Steinhardt.

"For Our Eyes Only"

Text: Mark, 9:1-10

2 Kings 2:1-12a


            We call this Sunday just prior to the start of Lent “Transfiguration Sunday.” Historically and liturgically, we remember today one of the most acclaimed mountaintop experiences recorded in Holy Scripture.

"Coppin' An Attitude"

Text: Matthew 23:25-26

Exodus 16:1-3


            Many years ago, I made my living as part of a labor gang in a plate glass factory. Some might say that’s the last job I had where I really worked for a living.

"Everything Is Already Paid For"

Text: Romans 8:1-4

Psalm 145:5-10


            Pastor Joel Osteen is a great teller of stories. Here’s one of them. A certain man, who was not very well-to-do, saved up his dimes and quarters in hopes of fulfilling a lifelong dream of taking a Caribbean cruise.


Text: Luke 10:38-42

Psalm 135:1-4


There are some narratives in the gospels which are hard to follow and their meanings difficult to grasp, such as John’s account of Jesus talking to a Samaritan woman at a well at Sychar. Then there are those narratives which are magnificent in their simplicity and straightforward in their meanings.

"I Am the Way"

Text: John 14:1-7

Psalm 96:10-13


Last summer, I had an interesting visit here at the church. A young woman arrived at the door asking to speak to the pastor. Assuming it was a person in need of food or some other type of assistance, I was surprised when a well-dressed, well-groomed, and very articulate thirty-something woman stepped into my office.

"When We're Afraid of the Dark"

Text: Genesis 32:21-32

Psalm 23


Permit me to set the historical context for this morning’s Old Testament lesson. Jacob (son of Isaac, grandson of Abraham) was returning home after several years of self-imposed exile in a foreign land. During this time, he’d become quite wealthy. He was bringing home a full caravan of sheep and cattle, wives, mistresses, and children. Jacob was also a man beset with fear. For years ago, he had done his twin brother Esau major dirt.

"Of Stars and Stables"

Text: Matthew 2:1-12

Isaiah 60:1-3


One of the cards we received this past Christmas had a beautiful image of three magi, or as they’re more often called, “wise men,” mounted on camels, gifts in hands, bathed by the brilliant light of a single star overhead. On the inside was this verse:

"Peace that Passes All Understanding"

Mike Baker

Text: Philippians 4:1-9

Psalm 106:1-5