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

Seeds of Hope - November 19, 2017

Hebrews 12:1-2

(holding flower bulbs)
Do you know what these are? These are flower bulbs. Does anyone know what a bulb is? Yes, it's like a seed...we plant it in the ground and then something grows from it. These are to grow flowers. But they're a little different from a seed. Most of the time, when we plant a seed, we need warm weather, or a warm room, and sunlight, and water for it to grow. And normally it starts to grow pretty quickly.
But a bulb is a little different. Who knows when we might plant a bulb? We plant them in the fall and then they stay dormant...they take a long nap....through the cold weather in winter and then

start to bloom in spring. For a bulb to grow, we need good soil and LOTS of patience!!
Well, I brought these bulbs today because, in a lot of ways, you and I are like bulbs...God makes us each special and as we grow, we will become something beautiful, but first, there has to be some waiting. We have to get ready to become what God has made us. It doesn't happen right away. We have to be planted in good soil and then wait for something good.
In the next couple of weeks, we are inviting everyone in the church to plant a bulb... we want them to plant one of these bulbs in their yard so they can be reminded that sometimes what we plant needs extra time to grow. And we're inviting them to plant here in the church...sharing their time, their prayers, their gifts, and their stories so that we might see new things grow here at our church. Just like with the bulbs, some of those things will take a little extra time to grow. But eventually, we'll see lots of beautiful things that God has helped grow both here and at home.
Let us pray.
Sermon:
Last week we studied Hebrews 11 and talked about the saints...both those in the Bible and those in our church. We talked about their faithfulness and their patience. We talked about their willingness to follow God, even into unknown places. We saw how they lay a foundation for us, that without them, there would be no Church, no Moscow First UMC, no us sitting here in this place. We are who we are because of those who were faithful before us. The ones who took us to church, the ones who taught us the Bible, the ones who prayed for us, often without our knowledge, the ones who modeled servanthood, generosity, compassion, and grace.
Because of them, and in light of their faith, we come to this place where we can celebrate how our children are growing in the faith so they can claim Christ for themselves, how new people are finding this to be a place where they can connect with others and follow Jesus, and where we can be a light in our community offering help with food, shelter, job training, and advocacy.
I don't know if you see it as I do, but we are in an awesome place as a church. We have a sturdy foundation and amazingly faithful people here (that means you), and the potential to share the Gospel in some really great ways. This is a cool place to be. And as cool as it is, it doesn't happen on its own. It takes work, commitment, determination, vision, passion, and compassion. It takes a desire and a drive to continue in an amazing place. We have a choice to make. Each of us.
• Do we want this church to grow??
• Do we want this church to our place of connection and community?
• Do we want the stranger to feel welcome here?
• Do we want our kids to learn to love Jesus here?
• Do we want God to show up here?
• Do we want God to lead us from here to there?

If we do, then these words from Hebrews are just for us: "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith..."
For if we want those things....to grow, to be a community, to welcome the stranger, to help those in need, then we have to choose to be a part of it. We get to be the ones to welcome those who are new. To learn their names. To learn their stories. To build relationships. We get to be the ones to lead...to study the Bible, to pray together, to take charge of a project. We get to take initiative, to learn new skills, to reach outside of our comfort zone.
If we want to care for those in need, we have to look for their needs, learn their stories, stare down the institutions that stand in the way and advocate for them and with them for life to be different. We have to choose compassion. We have to choose to see.
If we want to continue as the church. If we want to be the church, this makes. If we want to move into God's future, the choice is ours to make.
We have a sturdy foundation. We have the best leader anyone could ask for—Jesus Christ—the author and perfecter of the faith. What we need is to stay the course, to run the race, to choose to participate, to accept the invitation, to follow Jesus throughout our week.
The choice is ours. Will we choose to be planted? Some of us are fresh bulbs. There's a place for us to grow....even if we have to break up a little something to do it. Some of us have been growing for awhile...you've grown and bloomed from year to year. You get to keep on blooming. But here's the rub. We can't all stay right where we are and just do what we've always done. Some of us need to be moved a little. You know what I mean? Think about gardening and planting bulbs. How many of you grow iris or daffodils or tulips? What happens when they grow for a year or so? (They develop more bulbs). And those bulbs can grow there....or they can be dug up, separated and moved to grow and bloom in other places. For some of us, it's time for us to be broken up a little so we can grow in more places and in more ways.

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...