For what it's worth, I really love preaching through a book of the Bible. The challenge of taking what the text says and building a real, practical bridge to every day life invigorates me. Paul wrote the letter to a situation not that different than our own: Religious, but not necessarily Christian; Awash in competing realities and visions for what it means to be human.
In summing up the first three chapters of Ephesians, I tapped into Watchman Nee's classic commentary on the book, Sit, Walk, Stand.
I'm subtly introducting a workable language for discipleship (our basic work as a followers of Jesus) and today introduced the semi-circle, which is all about the rhythm between rest and work.
Found this great quote on Tim Keel's blog that fits right in for today's message:
My church life and my community life and my work life were so full and rich and productive that I nearly died from it. And by my own hand. Other than the fact that I was tired and worn and sick at heart and depleted and lost and afraid, everything was just fine. And, of course, I had no one to blame but myself - even though I tried to pin the blame on some other folks.
--Robert Benson, A Good Life