Written Sermons

Read the latest sermons from Dr. David N. Mosser below,

and join us Sundays in Worship at 9 and 11:15 am.

Listen to audio versions of the sermons here.

  • “The music at a wedding procession always reminds me of the music of soldiers going into battle” (Heinrich Heine, 1797 - 1856). Read the full text.

  • DELUGE, n. “A notable first experiment in baptism

    which washed away the sins (and sinners) of the world” 

    Ambrose Bierce (The Devil's Dictionary). Read the full text.

  • “Genuine beginnings begin within us, even when they are brought to our attention by external opportunities” (William Bridges). Read the full text.

  • “Education is the best provision for old age”–(Aristotle). Read the full text.

  • “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (—John 9:5). Read the full text.

  • “Understanding is the reward of faith. 

    Therefore, seek not to understand that thou mayest believe, 

    but believe that thou mayest understand” (Augustine). Read the full text.

  • “That is a good book which is opened with expectation and closed with profit” Amos Bronson Alcott (—Table Talk). Read the full text.

  • “I would rather have written the hymns of Wesley’s

    than to have the fame of all the kings that ever sat on earth; it is more glorious, it has more power in it” 

    ―Kenneth W. Osbeck, (101 Hymn Stories: The Inspiring True Stories Behind 101 Favorite Hymns)

    Read the full text.

  • “Opera is when a guy gets stabbed in the back and, 

    instead of bleeding, he sings”(Ed Gardner). Read the full text.

  • “Sometimes when we are generous in small, barely detectable ways it can change someone else's life forever” (Margaret Cho). Read the full text.

  • “To the generous mind the heaviest debt is that of gratitude, when it is not in our power to repay it” 

    —Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790). Read the full text.

  • “He who gives what he would as readily throw away, gives without generosity; for the essence of generosity is in self-sacrifice” — (Henry Taylor). Read the full text.

  • “Colleges hate geniuses, just as convents hate saints”— (Ralph Waldo Emerson). Read the full text.

  • “He hasn’t an enemy in the world - but all his friends hate him” —Eddie Cantor (1892 - 1964). Read the full text.

  • “Providence protects children and idiots. I know because I have tested it” (Mark Twain). Read the full text.

  • “Men are taught to apologize for their weaknesses, women for their strengths” (Lois Wyse). Read the full text.

  • “Seeing much, suffering much, and studying much, are the three pillars of learning” — Benjamin Disraeli (1804—1881). Read the full text.

  • “If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is ‘thank you,’ that would suffice”— (Meister Eckhart). Read the full text.

  • “The greatest war every fought, and are still fighting, where more people have been defeated and died, is the war within”— (Anthony Liccione). Read the full text.

  • “No one has a finer command of language than the person who  keeps his mouth shut”—Sam Rayburn (1882 - 1961). Read the full text.

  • “A bad neighbor is a misfortune, as much as a good one is a great blessing”  Hesiod—(~800 BCE, Works and Days). Read the full text.

  • “One man practicing sportsmanship is far better than fifty preaching it”  —(Knute Rockne—1888—1931]). Read the full text.

  • “When the gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers”  —Oscar Wilde (An Ideal Husband, 1893). Read the full text.

  • “There are more tears shed over answered prayers than over unanswered prayers”  —Saint Theresa of Jesus

    Read the full text.

  • “The world slides, the world goes, and death makes equal the rich and the poor”  (―Bangambiki Habyarimana, Pearls Of Eternity,  a Rwandan community worker). Read the full text.

  • “Nothing spoils a confession like repentance”  —Anatole France (1844—1924). Read the full text.

  • “Adultery is the application of democracy to love”  H. L. Mencken—(1880 - 1956). Read the full text. 

  • “Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired”  Jules Renard—(1864—1910). Read the full text.

  • “It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both incisive and probing when every twelve minutes one is interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper”  —(Rod Serling,1924—1975). Read the full text.

  • “In the middle of the journey of our life I came to myself within a dark wood  where the straight way was lost”  —(Dante Alighieri: 1265 - 1321, The Divine Comedy). Read the full text.

  • “To the soul, there is hardly anything more healing than friendship”  — (Thomas Moore). Read the full text.

  • “Fear not those who argue but those who dodge”  — (Marie Ebner von Eschenbach, Aphorisms, 1905). Read the full text. 

  • “There are two cardinal sins from which all others spring:  Impatience and Laziness”— Franz Kafka (1883—1924). Read the full text. 

  • “Happy families are all alike;  every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way” — (Leo Tolstoy (1828 - 1910, Anna Karenina). Read the full text.

  • “Be not so bigoted to any custom as to worship it at the expense of truth”— (Johann Georg von Zimmermann). Read the full text.

  • “The price one pays for pursuing any profession or calling  is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side”  James Baldwin (1924—1987). Read the full text.

  • “The gambling known as business looks with austere disfavor upon the business known as gambling”  — Ambrose Bierce (1842 - 1914). Read the full text.

  • “Beware of no man more than yourself; we carry our worst enemies within us”  —G. K. Chesterton (1874 - 1936).  Read the full text.

  • “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page”  Augustine (CE 354-430). Read the full text.

  • “Fear is that little darkroom where negatives are developed” (Michael Pritchard). Read the full text.

  • “Anyone wishing to “live” should turn in his or her pledge card  to the office by this weekend” (A notice in a church bulletin). Read the full text.

  • “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings;  the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries”  (Winston Churchill).  Read the full text.

  • “It is one of the great secrets of life that those things which are most worth doing, we do for others”—(Lewis Carroll, 1832—1898). Read the full text.

  • “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified” (John 12:23). Read the full text.

  • “Commandment Number One of any truly civilized society is this:  Let people be different”—(David Grayson). Read the full text.

  • Hear the day’s lesson:  "The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord.  33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the Lord,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more" (Jeremiah 31:31-34—NRSV). Read the full text.

  • "Lent is an expedition of penitence in which we join imaginatively with Jesus as he encounters the cross. Eventually we come out of Lent and celebrate God’s victory over sin and death in that glorious day we call Easter. Lent is an all-too-human reminder that prior to the victory of Easter human beings must endure a route which takes us through pain and shadows. We always want comfort but Lent plainly offers us a cold truth—our ultimate desire compels us to enter the wilderness of life." Read the full text.

  • "...8 Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work. 10 But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore, the Lord blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it." Read the full text.

  • ...17 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless. 2 And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will make you exceedingly numerous.” 3 Then Abram fell on his face; and God said to him, 4 “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You shall be the ancestor of a multitude of nations. 5 No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the ancestor of a multitude of nations. 6 I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. 7 I will establish my covenant between me and you, and your offspring after you throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. Read the full text.

  • "Lent is a season of forty days, not counting Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday. Lent ends on Holy Saturday. The word “Lent” comes from an Anglo-Saxon word lencten, which means “spring.” The season is a preparation for celebrating Easter. Historically, Lent began as a period of fasting and preparation for baptism by converts. A bit later it became a time for penance by all Christians. Lent’s First Sunday describes Jesus’ temptation by Satan; and the Sixth Sunday (Passion/Palm Sunday), Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem and his subsequent passion and death. Because Sundays are always “little Easters,” we can temper the penitential spirit of Lent with joyful expectation of the Resurrection on these Sabbaths." Read the full text.

  • “The one thing more difficult than following a regimen is not imposing it  on others” Marcel Proust (1871—1922). Read the full text.

  • “To punish me for my contempt for authority,  fate made me an authority myself” (Albert Einstein: 1879—1955). Read the full text.

  • "14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, 15 and saying, 'The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.'" Read the full text.

  • “The idea that men are created free and equal is both true and misleading: men are created different; they lose their social freedom and their individual autonomy in seeking to become like each other”  (David Riesman). Read the full text.

  • "When Matthew tells of Jesus’ baptism, Matthew relates an argument at the Jordan. Jesus, like so many others, comes to John at the Jordan for baptism. But John recognizes Jesus and says/asks Jesus: “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” Clearly John, who stoops to no one, defers to Jesus. John knows who this is who comes to him—the “one who is more powerful than I,” as John puts it. Yet, all discussion terminates when Jesus tells John “‘Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.’ Then John consented” (Matthew 3: 15)." Read the full text.

  • "The New Year affords us something that we all crave and probably need: the ability to start over. It is a great blessing to start over because it means that all those mistakes from which we were supposed to learn we can test. After all, if we have learned something, then we do want to know if we really learned it. So here we are in 2018. We stare down a new year and hope for the best." Read the full text.

  • “You can’t have a light without a dark to stick it in” Arlo Guthrie (b. 1947). Read the full text.

  • "Call to Worship: 10 Say among the nations, “The Lord is king! The world is firmly established; it shall never be moved. He will judge the peoples with equity.” 11 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; 1 2 let the field exult, and everything in it. Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy 13 before the Lord; for he is coming, for he is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with his truth (Psalm 96:10-13)." Read the full text.

  • "26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.’" Read the full text.

  • “The harp at Nature’s advent strung has never ceased to play; the song the stars of morning sung has never died away” (John Greenleaf Whittier). Read the full text.

  • “Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood . . . . Make big plans, aim high in hope and work” Daniel H. Burnham (1846 - 1912). Read the full text.

  • “Productive leaders solve problems; they don’t hide them.  Servant leaders transform societies (Anonymous).” Read the full text.

  • "A quick perusal of the Bible should lay to rest threadbare allegations that stewardship is strictly about budgets. In fact, my best stewardship teachers have been discerning lay people who understood the weighty connection between what we profess and how we live out that profession. People who have mastered Christian stewardship principles know far too much than to confuse a congregation’s annual budget drive with a genuine biblical understanding of stewardship. Our stewardship reaches into every corner of our life of faith, which of course includes but is not limited to our purses. Billy Graham once said: “God has given us two hands—one to receive with and the other to give with.” So, I pray our faithfulness in all of these manifold gifts and graces God delivers to us! Hear the day’s lesson for 23rd Sunday after Pentecost:" Read the full text.

  • "Today we remember our saints who used their faith in daily life. We also explore what it means to be a steward as we use our faith. All Saints Day may be one of the most important Sabbaths that we celebrate as God’s people. Stewardship and what saints (or believers) have done for God’s people fit like a nock to a bow string. Sometimes the day overwhelms our ability to articulate its meaning. Emotion renders our tongues practically inarticulate today. Yet, we offer our beloved back to God in death as we honor their sacred memory." Read the full text. 

  • “I never saw an ugly thing in my life: for let the form of an object be what it may—light, shade, and perspective will always make it beautiful” (John Constable (1776 - 1837). Read the full text.

  • “Assumptions are the termites of relationships” (Henry Winkler). Read the full text.

  • Hear the day’s lesson for the 18th Sunday after Pentecost: When all the people witnessed the thunder and lightning, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking, they were afraid and trembled and stood at a distance, and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, or we will die.” Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid; for God has come only to test you and to put the fear of him upon you so that you do not sin.” Then the people stood at a distance, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was (Exodus 20:18-21). Read the full text.

  • Hear the lesson for 17th Sunday after Pentecost. Our sermons have concentrated on the Hebrew scriptures this summer and fall: [17:1] From the wilderness of Sin the whole congregation of the Israelites journeyed by stages, as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. [2] The people quarreled with Moses, and said, “Give us water to drink.” Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?” [3] But the people thirsted there for water; and the people complained against Moses and said, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?” Read the full text.

  • Most human beings crave what we call a guarantee. We all want to know something with cast-iron certainty. In religious circles, we call this guarantee “the assurance of faith.” Although we speak of faith nearly every day, life has a way of undermining every certitude to which we cling so tenaciously. People make decisions about which truth or part of the truth they consider worthy of the status of “a guarantee.” It is in this search for meaning that brings us to worship. The assurance of faith makes it possible for us to respond to the unexpected life. With great wisdom, Reformed theologian Karl Barth wrote: Read the full text.

  • In his September 12, 2017 blog Benjamin Corey(patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie) asked: “Why do logical atheists often insist on reading the Bible like a fundamentalist—as if there’s only one way to understand and apply it to Christian living?” Corey then uses the example of a critic of a devout Christian and a Miss Teen USA contestant who has a tattoo as an example of hypocrisy. What Mr. Corey is pointing out is that it’s as if there is only “one way” to read and interpret the Bible. Read the full sermon text.

  • The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: [2] This month shall mark for you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year for you. Read the full text.

  • "Now the trumpet summons us again—not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need; not as a call to battle, though embattled we are—but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, “rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation”—a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself" (John F. Kennedy).

    Today’s reading from the Hebrew scripture is the story of Moses’ call to ministry, leadership, mission . . . or call to something. It is a fitting reading with this weekend’s national holiday in mind: Labor Day. Why? Because, for one thing, we find Moses out working peacefully by himself—not particularly troubled or bothered by other people. Moses is simply alone with the flock of his father-in-law. All he must do is keep the wolves away, and hope he isn’t bored to death. After all, he has been living in a sprawling urban area and is himself an urbanite through and through. Read the full text.

  • “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety” (Benjamin Franklin). In the Bible, we often find rhetorical arguments called “from the lesser to the greater.” Here are several examples from Luke’s Gospel: Read the full text.

  • Genesis 45:1-15 reminds me of something noted Georgian writer Flannery O’Connor once wrote: “A story is a way to say something that can’t be said any other way . . . You tell a story because a statement would be inadequate.” We also note that we are skipping a great deal of the Joseph story in Genesis. For example, details that include the story of Joseph and Mrs. Potiphar, Joseph in prison and his dreams there, and how Joseph is incorporated into Pharaoh’s house. Read the full text.

  • 1 Jacob settled in the land where his father had lived as an alien, the land of Canaan. 2 This is the story of the family of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was shepherding the flock with his brothers; he was a helper to the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father's wives; and Joseph brought a bad report of them to their father. 3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his children, because he was the son of his old age; and he had made him a long robe with sleeves. 4 But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably to him... Read the full text.

  • The same night he got up and took his two wives, his two maids, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 He took them and sent them across the stream, and likewise everything that he had. 24 Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he struck him on the hip socket; and Jacob's hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. 26 Then he said, "Let me go, for the day is breaking." Read the full text.

  • Today’s text is the story of Jacob’s marriage to his uncle Laban’s two daughters—Jacob’s cousins. The Genesis account relates Jacob’s twenty years in Haran: his marriages and service to Laban, the birth of eleven sons (not Benjamin), and finally his plotting to return home (29:1—31:55). The goal of Jacob’s story is to convey God’s promises to Abraham and Isaac to later generations via Jacob (35:9-12). Today’s lesson pertains to securing a proper wife for Jacob. Certainly, this story seems foreign, what with multiple wives and near kinfolk at that. But let’s put the story’s cultural difficulties aside and hear the lesson: 

    Read the full text.

  • I have a friend who has an extreme interest in justice. One day he told a group of us about a bully at the park who appeared to be picking on younger children who were playing there. My friend said that a man sitting in a car at the park yelled at the bullying teenager to leave all the other kids alone. The teen then mocked the man, as a bully is likely to do at a distance from a formidable foe. Evidently, the man in the car had seen and heard enough from this bullying teenager, so he unfolded his 6’ 5” frame, got out of his car to meet the teen’s challenge. Read the full text.