Perhaps A Sermon

I think that Sunday’s sermon will hang on the words from the epistle lesson, “Thieves must give up stealing.” Steve Fowl has a terrific essay on this premise, so I mustn’t go read it till I’m done, lest I simply reproduce what he has done better. Something charms me, though, about the letter addressing its readers with advice that seems so patently obvious, especially in the context of Ephesians’ expansive rhetoric of community. It reminds me of Laurence Sterne’s sermon “Against the Crime of Murder,” another warning that you might have thought that preachers need not belabor in most congregations.

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