Sermons

Summary: There are walls which divide gender men and women. There are walls of social status that divide the affluent and the poor. Walls are all around us. And for many these walls bring a sense of comfort, and protection. Updated July 2018.

For those not familiar with an Anglican Service there are four Scripture readings prior to the Message. Today's assigned readings are: 2 Samuel 7:1-14; Psalm 89:20-37, Ephesians 2:11-22, and Mark 60:30-34, 53-56.

Robert Frost's famous work, ...The "Mending Wall": ...is a wonderful poem ... full of humor.... and maybe a sense...of sadness.

It is about two neighbors ...who go through the same ritual each spring, .... meeting at the wall... In order to repair it.

To refill the gaps ...that the fallen stones.... have left.

The neighbors have apparently done this ...for many years ... yet it strikes the narrator in the poem to question ... just why it is ... that they have the wall ... in the first place.

They no longer have cows or sheep ... that might stray onto the other's property.

So why is the wall there?

The reason for its purpose... no longer exists?

Yet, it remains . . . Why?

(Slow) Why ... Because it has always...... been there!

The truth is ............. it is human nature ....to construct walls.

No age ... or age group ...has gone unshaped ...by the ...malicious power... of the wall.

Its menacing power ...moves the length and breadth ... of human existence.

Paul calls it ....in our text ... the dividing wall.... a dividing wall...of hostility.

It is the wall...... that separates ....... that fragments... that ... isolates.

It is the wall ...that keeps people ......apart.

It kills fellowship ... breeds prejudice ...... spreads gossip ...and sets loose ... the dogs of war.

It takes many forms ...but it always remains ... the same " Dividing Wall".

In our own society, ... we too .... construct walls.

There are many walls ...that divide us ....as a people.

Over 150 years ago ... Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation ... yet still ...there are divisions ...between black... and white.

There are walls ...which divide gender... men and women.

There are walls of social status.... that divide the affluent.... and the poor.

Beloved ... Walls ... are all around us.

And for many.... they bring a sense of comfort, .... a sense of protection.

Humankind must love walls, ...for we have built ....so many of them.

We live in a wall weary...... world. (Pause)

Paul is writing this letter... to the believers gathered ...at the Church.... in Ephesus.

He emphasizes ...the blessings that are only found in Christ Jesus.

And he reminds these Christians... from whence they came...... "You... You ... were dead... in your sin." (Ephesians 2:1)

Beloved....God is not about separation.... God is not about division.

God is about... building ... Building a body of believers...Building His church.

But, ....as any good construction worker can tell you, ...before you build . . . some things ...have to go.

Here Paul's words to the Church:

BIBLE "Therefore, ... remember that at one time... you Gentiles by birth ... called the "uncircumcision" by those who are called "the circumcision".... remember that you were at that time ... without Christ, ... being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel ....and strangers to the covenants of promise, ....having no hope ......and without God in the world." END Ephesians 2:11-12

Paul starts out this passage by saying, "Remember ... Remember the Wall."

Remember... the wall of...separation.

Paul is talking to Non-Jews ... Gentiles ... like us. (Pause)

"Uncircumcised" ... was a disrespectful term ...used by the Jews ... "The Chosen" ... to describe the Un-chosen.

When Paul speaks of the dividing Wall in our text, ... his primary reference ... was the five-foot high wall ...between the Court of the Gentiles ...and the Court of Women ....in the temple ....at Jerusalem.

On this wall ...appeared an often-repeated inscription to the Gentiles ...warning them ...to go no deeper ...into the temple grounds.

If they did ... they would have only themselves to blame... for their death, ... which would.... inevitably follow.

This wall... represents prejudice, ...which was a burning issue ...between the Jews ...and the Gentiles.

Some ancient Jewish writings go as far ... as referring to Gentiles as ... "Fuel ...for the fires... of hell."

Imagine how difficult it must have been ... for either group ...to extend the other... the right hand of fellowship.

In our text ... Paul is speaking ....to Gentile Believers.

They were Gentiles... 'by birth' ......but they were now ...Christians... part of the Church of Jesus Christ......at Ephesus.

Paul tells them to ... Remember ... Remember when they ....were separated.... from God.

To Remember ...the wall.

The Wall ... that had separated them... in the past.

Separation from God Beloved......is the very definition ...of spiritual death ... eternal death.

So....Why does Paul ...want them ...to remember?

Because one ......needs to remember.

We need to remember ...how lost we were... ...before Christ.

We need to remember ... the past walls of separation.

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