Some thoughts on preaching — 2nd Friends Meeting, Indianapolis.
I preached on Ephesians 2, this allowed me to draw on sermons that I preached on 2:1-10 and also 2:11-22. As a reader can read old sermons, it seems silly to repeat summarizing material… other than I pointed out that the most natural thing is to treat these two sections separately.
I pulled these two sections together by pointing out that sometimes the individual is broken, and spiritually dead from the sin of the community. Sometimes an individual has to overcome the damage he suffered, instead of his own sinful tendencies. As individualistic as we are, we have to remember that the individual and the community are not separated. Those who are far off need restored, even if they were placed far off.
Instead of focusing on the wall mentioned in Ephesians 2:11–22 (racism / legalism), I spoke of the sin and brokenness caused by building walls when Christ tore these walls down. I gave some specific examples of wall building — and I commended 2nd Friends meeting for their attempt to tear down a wall that is so often built in our communities (they are offering space to a Hispanic church plant).
In addition, I pointed to the point that Jesus offers transformation — both new life for the individual, and greater unity for the community. For me Ephesians is all about salvation (or healing, or transformation, or wholeness, or whichever word you wish to use.) Ephesians is the Gospel of Paul — and no Gospel can point to a problem without pointing out that it is something which can be overcome.
The sermon seems to have been well received – I hope that it was