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

A Firm Foundation - November 5, 2017

Hebrews 11

What is faith?

It's the assurance of things hoped for and conviction of things not yet seen. Well, what does that mean? The author of Hebrews decided it was easier to show us than to tell us. Hebrews highlights people who had faith and the chasm of unknown that lay between them and God's calling or promise, which was only overcome by faith.

For them, faith was hoping, trusting and believing that God would come through--that God would make good on God's promises, that God would provide and protect, all because of who God is and how much

God loved them. Faith required trust and it required patience.

Let's look at a couple of the examples that were offered. Eric read three for us: Noah, Abraham, and Sarah.

Let's start with Noah. Noah was told that God was upset with the people's disobedience and something was going to happen...that Noah needed to prepare in a really big way, so he did. There hadn't been a similar event. Noah hadn't seen God send a storm that size. And he certainly had never built a boat like that...but he trusted and believed that God would do what God said...now fact or fiction in it's historical truth...Noah represents the faithful....he represents those who live with righteousness and follow with faith. He is one who takes God at God's word and doesn't wait for the proof before he takes action. Noah is a believer...he's a doer....and he's an example of what it means to have faith.

Then we have Abraham and Sarah....a complicated couple who show us both faithfulness and faithlessness. They were old. From the land of Ur. With no children. God called Abraham and told him that if he was faithful and followed, God would bless him and Sarah with descendants as numerous as grains of sand on the beach...and Abraham said yes. He agreed to the future God had promised in a land that was unfamiliar with a God who was unknown to him. Talk about a leap of faith. Abraham trusted and believed. He had faith. And then, he and Sarah wanted to see God's promises come true. They were anxious to have the babies God had promised. And they waited. And they got impatient. Then they decided they needed to take matters into their own hands. So Sarah recruited Hagaar, her maid, and figured if she couldn't have a baby for Abraham, maybe Hagaar could. Now, that worked...sort of....Hagaar got pregnant...only that wasn't God's plan. That was Sarah and Abraham's plan. They show us what it is to be human...yes they had faith and the followed God to the unknown...and they had doubts....yes they believed in God's promise....and they got antsy about God's timeline and decided they could work it out for themselves. Sound familiar to anyone? Real people trying to be faithful in the midst of trying circumstances. Faith requires trust AND patience.

This chapter of Hebrews tells us of the faith of others....Moses and Moses' parents, Abel, Enoch, Joseph, Isaac, and Rahab. Faithful followers who believed in something that God had promised....they were convicted of a future, a place, a child, a freedom that couldn't yet see. They were saints who showed great faith. AND....some saints who never touched the future they believed in. They strove for it, fought for it, sacrificed for it....but never quite experienced it. (Though their descendants would....)

And so it is with the saints we celebrate today. Those who are represented here on the altar and those who will be named as you light the candles in the windows. They had faith. They believed in what God was doing....not just for them and for the present moment....but for the next generations and the future. Think about it. The saints have given time, talents, prayers, and money to build up the church. They taught Sunday school. They served in leadership. They read the scriptures in worship. Sang the anthems. They played bells. They painted walls, planted flowers, and renovated rooms....all so the work of ministry could continue. They reached out to the visitors in the church. They took meals to those who were sick, sent cards to those who were grieving, and helped those who were overwhelmed.

To celebrate the saints is not just to grieve....though we certainly miss and long for their presence. To celebrate the saints is to appreciate the foundation that lies beneath us....to know that we couldn't be here in this place doing these things with these people in these ways if it weren't for those who believed in a future they couldn't and maybe even wouldn't touch. To celebrate the saints is to be convicted that the work of the church doesn't stop with us....God is still working....God is still promising....God is still calling....and we are invited to be faithful too.

Let us pray. Holy and loving God, we thank you for the saints, who have show trust and patience...who believed in your promises, who were faithful to your calling. We thank you that we stand on the foundation of faith that they have laid. Give us conviction to believe in the things we can't yet see and to stay true to you in all we do. In Jesus' name, amen.

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.

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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...