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

What God is Doing Through Us - October 29, 2017

Mathew 25:31-46

Who are your 3 favorite people? Seriously. Any people from your life, young or old, from when you were a child to now—who are they? You can write them down on your bulletin (unless you have 3 people with you and none of them make the list—in that case just hold them in your head). =) Who are your 3 favorite people? You enjoy them. You love them. You feel loved by them. You help each other. Just thinking of them brings a smile to your face. Who are your 3? Now, if one of them was

coming to visit this week, what would you do to get ready? (Assuming you're feeling healthy and well and have the money to spend).
• Clean the house?
• buy special foods?
• make up the guest room?
• buy flowers?
• buy a special drink?
• make plans for an evening out?
Special people often prompt us to make special plans. And we're often willing to go the extra mile to help them feel welcomed. Grandma Ruth was one of my favorite people. She was my mom's mom and is our daughter's namesake. She was kind, smart, a great storyteller, and easy to get along with. When I was young, she would make special meals for us, and always sent cards to let us know she was thinking of us. As I grew up, I was able to start doing things for her. After my grandfather died, I crawled under all the beds to drag out the things they hadn't seen in decades. We sorted clothes, purged closets, and got the house ready for new paint and new carpet. I stayed with her often when I was in college and as she struggled with radiation burn in her intestines from the 1970s, I would attend to her and help clean up after she'd been sick. I would do anything for that woman.
When she was 96 and struggling with colon cancer, my parents brought her to our house for Christmas, anticipating it would probably be her last. We knew she was hurting and so we wanted to do all we could to help her feel comfortable. We borrowed a hospital bed (which Rick hauled up from someone's basement), got a heated bedpad, and set up the bathroom with all the temporary handicap paraphernalia we could find. I planned as many of her favorite foods as I could. (pecan rolls and pecan pie topped the list). Grandma Ruth was a special lady and we were happy to go the extra mile for her.
I imagine the same is true for you with some of your favorite people. You've probably spent time helping with chores, or kids, or meals. You may have spent extra money for something special or slid in that little treat just because you knew it was their favorite. Right?
So what does any of that have to do with our scripture today? Well, much like the children's book indicated, a lot of us would be happy to do the best for Jesus...to share our best food, our favorite chair, or loan our favorite books, and use the best linens if he came to stay with us. Obviously, he can't sit in our house, or eat at our table, but if we love others, we love him. This passage is generally familiar...."whatever you have done for the least of these, you have done for me." We know it in concept, but how often are we applying it? If you're running late and you get cut off, do you treat that driver as if they were Jesus? (Some of you are thinking, "yep, I'd honk at Jesus too!" )
Sometimes talking about Jesus feels pretty ethereal. Too spiritual to be read. So we have to ground the conversation a bit. What if the person who angered us, or begged from us was one of our favorite people—would we respond any differently? Would we give the scraps or would we give our best? Would we yell and scream, or would we take another look and try and see what's really going on?
I think a lot of us find ourselves as both sheep and goats. In some cases we're the sheep, we're the ones to give food, clothes, and visit. And in other cases, where the goats, we turn a blind eye. Maybe we're calloused, or busy, or frustrated.
I'm grateful that our eternal fate isn't determined by our actions, but by Jesus. Understanding the sheep and the goats are about living like Jesus....being more like him in our daily living. I'd say we, as a church, have gotten that right in a whole lot of ways. In recent weeks, I've heard about
• people giving rides to the doctor and to job interviews
• people providing a place to stay
• people giving clothes
• people giving toiletries
• people praying before surgery
• people painting in the nursery
• people taking meals to those who are recovering
• people helping to pay utility bills
• people sending get well cards
• people who have given to disaster relief
• and much more

If you've done one of those things, please raise your hand. If you've done something else to help another, to show compassion, or to give of yourself, please raise your hand. This is us being sheep...being followers of the great Shepherd...sharing love like Jesus did. That's what we want to celebrate.
In this passage, there is also a challenge....a way we are to keep looking at ourselves...asking, "when have I been a goat?" When have I been stubborn? Uncaring? or Callous? We should be convicted about those times too....trying to see those people and situations as if they were Jesus....or, at the very least like they were one of our favorite people.

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...