Sermons
Sunday Worship Service begins at 10:30 AM
Third & Adams Street, PO Box 9774, Moscow, Idaho USA | (208) 882-3715

Like Living Stones - May 18, 2014

I Peter 2:1-10

As many of you know, this church was built in 1902 of basalt mined on Paradise Ridge. The foundation is actually granite. I learned this spring that the horizontal stripe around the building is stucco covering brick which marks the transition from the granite to the basalt.
We have a few of the basalt stones in back of the church. I can't even budge them: they are heavy. It amazes me to think how builders worked with them all those years ago before modern technology or heavy equipment. I suppose they built scaffolding and had pulleys and various sorts of hoists. 112 years later the church stands strong, though we have had a few issues with the mortar and the brick stripe.
The Book of Genesis tells us that after he cheated his brother, Jacob left his family of origin. On his journey he spent the night at Bethel and used a stone for a pillow. My neck hurts just thinking about it. He dreamed of a ladder with angels ascending and descending. When he woke he said, "Surely the Lord is in this place." He took his stone pillow and turned it into an altar to consecrate the place.
The prophet Isaiah spoke to the people of Judah to warn them that if they did not change their ways they would be punished. Sure enough they were eventually sent into exile in Babylon. Before that happened, however, Isaiah told them that to be renewed they needed to be built on a stronger foundation: "See, I am laying in Zion a foundation stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation." Judah's problem had been that she had relied on a false understanding of God's command-ments which was like using a faulty cornerstone.

Read more: Like Living Stones - May 18, 2014

The Stencil of the Cross - May 11, 2014

I Peter 2:13-25

Today's Scripture lesson from I Peter is a difficult text. "Slaves, accept the authority of your masters with all deference." The lectionary, the three year cycle of readings I normally use for preaching, omits this verse. I chose to include it.
This text, especially verse 18, is difficult in large part because of the ways it has been used in the past to justify slavery. In pre-civil war days, some people maintained that since the Bible not only mentions slavery but advises slaves to accept the authority of their masters, then it must have been a God ordained institution.

Read more: The Stencil of the Cross - May 11, 2014

The Imperishable Seed - May 4, 2014

I Peter 1:17-23

Perhaps you have heard the story about the woman who always cut off the end of the ham before baking it. One day her husband asked, "Why do you cut off the end of the ham?" She stopped and considered his question. "I don't know. I suppose because that's what my mother always did." She called her mother, "Why do you cut off the end of the ham?" "That's just what my mother did," she answered. She went to the nursing home. "Mom, why did you always cut off the end of the ham?" "Because the pan was too small," Grandma answered.
"We've always done it that way," has been said so often that it has become a cliché. The truth is that what made sense at one time changes over the years. Very often we forget the original reason and cling to the tradition. Finally, even a time honored practice can become futile.

Read more: The Imperishable Seed - May 4, 2014

Fellow Aliens - April 27, 2014

I Peter 1:3-9

Say the word alien and I think first of little green people with pointy things sticking out of their heads who come from outer space.
Say the word alien and I may instead think of people who have come to this country from other lands. Many do so legally, with all the proper documentation. Much attention is paid to those few who come without documentation. We continue to debate what to do about immigration reform. There are no easy answers.
I do not see any little green people here today. I am confident that those of you who have come here from other countries have done so legally. It is hard enough to swim a river. I can't imagine swimming an ocean.

Read more: Fellow Aliens - April 27, 2014

Why Are You A Weeping? - April 20, 2014

John 20:1-18

"Mary, Mary, why are you weeping? Mary, Mary, you do you cry?" the choir sang to us a moment ago. It was the angel's question to Mary Magdalene when she at last summoned up the courage to look into Jesus' tomb. "Woman, why are you weeping?"
At one level the answer seems obvious. Mary had gone to the tomb as soon as she could. Joseph of Arimathea had placed Jesus there just as the Sabbath was about to begin. As a faithful Jew, Mary could not defile herself by coming in contact with death over the holy day, even holier than usual because it was the Passover. Nor could she do any work, such as walking any distance. Most likely Mary had sat at home with her tears over the Sabbath.

Read more: Why Are You A Weeping? - April 20, 2014

Current Church News

  • Christmas Eve Services - Dec 24, 2017

    4:00 PM Family Christmas Eve. This service is especially designed for wiggly, giggly children and is intentionally kept shorter. It will include music by Children's bell choir and leadership from children.

    7:00 PM Traditional Christmas Eve. This service includes music from Choir and Bell Choirs, plus Holy Communion and the Candlelight Ceremony. Child care is provided.

Get Directions

Sunday morning parking at the church is available in the high school parking lot on Third Street across from the church and in the city lots west of the church. These lots are available only on Sunday mornings. A small lot for handicapped parking is available just off of Adams Street on the north side of the church, with an accessible entrance directly into the sanctuary. A lift operates between the Fellowship Hall (3rd Street level) and the Sanctuary . William Sound System Receivers and Headsets are available to assist with hearing problems.

Church Mission

The First United Methodist Church of Moscow, Idaho takes as our mission to be the body of Jesus Christ, ministering to a community which draws strength from its diversity. Our mission centers on the worship of God, expressed through varied forms of prayer, preaching, music, and ritual.  See more...