Central Presbyterian Church

Massillon, Ohio

“HOLDING FAST TO THE IMAGE OF ZION”    

 Hebrews 12:18-24

 Exodus 19:16-22

 

        When I was in 7th grade, I had a woodshop teacher by the name of Mr. Klim.  [Anyone

remember when classes like woodshop, mechanical drawing, and home economics were a part

of every junior high curriculum?]  Mr. Klim was the biggest, scariest beast of a man I’d ever   

seen.  To my twelve year-old eyes, he seemed to be about seven foot tall; must have weighed

at least three hundred pounds; his shoulders every bit of four feet across.  Even his muscles had

muscles.  To top it off, Mr. Klim had a marine drill sergeant-styled crew cut.  When he got saw-

dust in that crew cut, he would just run a wire brush over his head.  Then he would do the same

to the thick fur which covered his forearms.  Rumor among the seventh graders was that he

once stopped a table-mounted circular saw with his teeth.  Now I don’t know about that, but

no one in Coraopolis Junior High School would deny that Mr. Klim was one tough, scary dude!

"A Christian View of Work"

2 Thessalonians 3: 6-13

Genesis 2: 15

 

 

For most of us, the beginning of September marks the ending of so-called “vacation season.” The

kids are back in school.  The family outing to the beachfront condo is beginning to seem an ancient

memory.  It’s back to the grind for that long haul between Labor Day and Thanksgiving.  And as we

settle back into our daily routines, many of us in the workplace may begin to feel like:  Isn’t there

anything more to life than to get up, get dressed, go to work, come home, then rest for the demands

of tomorrow’s work, all the while thanking God that Friday’s coming. 

"Who is in Your Parable?"  CRE Michael Baker

"Fire" - Rev. Sue Ann Schmidt

“THE HEAVENLY HUMOR OF BALAAM AND THE BEAST”

Text:  Numbers 22:21-31

           Proverbs 3:3-8

One Sunday morning, a twelve year-old boy was still adjusting to being too old to attend children’s

church anymore. He was now forced to endure the entire big people’s service.  On the way home

following worship, junior had a question:  “Mom, is it okay to laugh in church?” to which his father

answered with a snicker, “Just as long as Mrs. Gillie and the McCabe sisters don’t see you.” “But dad,

what if God sees me?”  His mother replied reassuringly:  “That’s okay.  God will probably be laughing

right along with you.”

"Jesus Feeds, We Remember"

Matthew 14: 13-21

2 Kings 4: 42-44

      One of the most powerful catalysts for our memory is food.  In other words, certain foods

bring back certain memories.  The sight, smell and taste of particular foods often trigger happy

thoughts and good vibes about people we’ve known; places we’ve been; stories and characters

from the chapters of our life stories.  Anytime, for instance, I have a mountain of mashed potatoes with

rivulets of butter streaming down the sides, I can’t help but think of my grandmother

Ogilvie.  I can picture her in my mind’s eye standing over that old-fashioned GE electric mixer

that turned the bowl all by itself; I with my nose just above the counter top trying to catch a

whiff, and maybe a sample.  Or anytime I enjoy a cup of vanilla pudding, I have loving thoughts of

my mom; she ironing in the living room on Tuesday evening, while I sat on the floor watching the

Red Skelton Show, eating the pudding she had made even before it had fully cooled.  What are

those special foods for you which trigger happy thoughts of chapters written and people passed?

"What Does God Want/"

Hosea 2:14-32

Matthew 18:12-14

      This morning, we’ll be reading from the 8th century prophet named Hosea.  Something new in

the writing of Hosea, and in the writings of the other so-called latter prophets -- which sets him and

them apart from previous Old Testament prophecy -- is their heightened and refined sense of ethical

responsibility.  They seemed to see more clearly than their predecessors that how we relate to God,

and how we relate to each other, are virtually inseparable.  This laid the groundwork for the revolu-

tionary teachings of Jesus – such as we find in His great discourse recorded in Matthew 25 -- that it is

every bit as important to love our neighbor as ourselves as it is to love God.  

"Good Morning, Lord!"

Ephesians 1: 3-10

Psalm 103: 19-104:4

      Here’s a quick and easy reference on the difference between an optimist and a pessimist:  the

optimist wakes up and declares, “Good morning, Lord!”  The pessimist wakes up and grouses,

“Good Lord, morning!”  A little bit of humor, and a whole lot of wisdom which says that we can

either welcome and bless the day, or we can dread and effectively curse it.  We have a choice. 

What was yours this morning? 

“SETTING OFF FOR THE ACADEMY"

Text:  Acts 17:16-21

         Proverbs 4:10-13

    May I begin this morning by saying “congratulations” to this year’s high school graduates?  If you

were the graduating class of 1919 rather than of 2019, and if I was a stodgy academic preacher

typical of early 20th century Presbyterianism, I would probably say something like this:  “Young

gentlemen, I remind you of the words of Samuel Johnston when he stated: ‘To talk in public, to think

in solitude, to read and to hear, to inquire and to answer inquiries is the business of a scholar.’ 

Emerson added, ‘A scholar is the favorite of heaven and earth, the excellency of his country, and

happiest of men.’  As you set off for the academy, remember that a university should be a place of

light, of liberty, of learning.”

"Long Reach Theology"

1 Peter 3: 13-22

Psalm 139: 7-12

      The 1st Letter of Peter can be a very difficult read because it challenges the reader on so many

different levels.  It calls us, for example, to clean house; to deep and uncomfortable self-examination;

to “rid” ourselves “of all malice, and all guile, insincerity, envy, and all slander.”  Such spiritual

house cleaning is something most of us are apt to avoid.  In the same chapter, Peter advises that slaves

should accept the authority of their masters, even giving their masters homage and honor.  During pre-Civil

War times,and even after, many preachers in the south used this passage as a justification for owning slaves. 

Later in the letter, Peter urges wives to accept their husband’s authority; a teaching which has not set well

with some of today’s Christian feminists.  Then he seems to discourage women from dressing up, wearing jewelry;

even fixing their hair.

  In what sounds like a rehash of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (which Peter heard with his own ears), he teaches

that when we’re abused or evil is perpetrated against us, our response should be to repay our abuser with a blessing. 

Then we come to the last part of the third chapter, and it doesn’t get any less challenging.