“If Humanity ever captures the energy of Love, it will be the second time in history that we have discovered fire.”
Bishop Michael Curry of the American Episcopal Church, spoke these words at the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Princess Meghan Markle at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. (The clip is only 13.5 minutes)
In a message, which took to church not only those in attendance at the royal wedding of Britain’s Prince Harry, 33, and American actress Meghan Markle, 36, on Saturday — but millions watching from across the world — Bishop Michael Bruce Curry preached on the “redemptive power of love.”
Curry, the first African-American presiding bishop of the American Episcopal Church encouraged all receiving his message to discover the power of love to make of “this old world a new world.”
For many, his impassioned sermon — punctuated with themes of politics, social justice, civil rights and quotes from Martin Luther King Jr. and the controversial Catholic theologian Pierre Teilhard de Chardin — was a highlight of the historic matrimonial ceremony. (NPR via KRVS)
Bishop Curry, with all the passionate emotions of his African-American heritage, preaching to a stiff-upper-lip British congregation, appeared to make many uncomfortable, but not without giving jovial response to his occasional wit and humor. My response was one of awe and deep appreciation for this powerful, clarion voice sounding in the wilderness of a world gone mad. I will read his recently released book LOVE IS THE WAY. This man is a modern day disciple who has received the power promised and already given by Jesus to all of Humanity, waiting no longer to be received and released into the world. He among others are doing it with full voice.
Of course I disagree with the bishop where he puts the traditional Christian spin and rationale on the crucifixion and sacrificial death of the man in which the Lord of Love incarnated. Let’s call it what it was in fact: a futile attempt to extinguish the Light of the World by those to whom he brought and gave the Power to Love one another. It was an abomination; a slap in the face of God . . . and it did not have to happen. This beautiful prayer he spoke with his Heavenly Father tells us that his work on earth was finished well before his crucifixion. In his own words taken from the Red Letter Edition of my King James Bible:
“Father . . . . I have glorified thee on earth: I have finished the work which thou gaveth me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were and thou gaveth them me; and they have kept thy word. Now they have known all things whatsoever thou gaveth me are of thee. For I have given unto them the words which thou gaveth me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee and they have believed that thou didst send me. I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. (John 17:5)
That was His work. And He had already finished it and ascended back to his Father from whence He had come. The crucifixion was not part of the plan of salvation. Christianity made it so by projecting it heavenward. It was not by shedding His blood that salvation was given to humanity; but by shining the Light of His Father’s Love and revealing Him on Earth through his living example. What a mockery has been made of his life and purpose for incarnating in the world of mankind.
Other than that, the bishop’s powerfully delivered message struck a joyful chord of agreement in my heart:
“Someone once said that Jesus began the most revolutionary movement in human history. A movement grounded in the unconditional love of God for the world – and a movement mandating people to live that love, and in so doing to change not only their lives but the very life of the world itself. I’m talking about power. Real power. Power to change the world.”
I personally have much to take to heart in his sermon. I feel the love in my heart for humanity, for those in my immediate world—my family and close friends. But what about my expression of love? When those close to me tell me they don’t feel my love, it gives me pause. Is my heart closed to the world and to those in my world? I know that my heart is ecstatically open upward to my Lord, especially while sharing His healing love in my attunement service. Is not that enough? Apparently not. I don’t go around saying “I love you” like I see many doing, almost habitually. It just doesn’t feel genuine to me; not my style. I feel that my actions of generosity and service are sufficient, my smile and acts of kindness; my doing unto others that which I would that they should do unto me. Is not living the Golden Rule an adequate expression of love?
A fire burns with increasing intensity in my heart these days, and at times bursts forth in anger at certain provocations. Impatience with the ugly, idiotic and thoughtless behavior in my world and in the larger uncivilized world, particularly during these last few weeks of political upheaval with our presidential elections.
As I watch the election coverage, I am in awe of the way American democracy is working. Samantha said recently on The Today Show “We can agree to disagree. But we don’t have to hate one another.” That tone of hate which sounded for four years has drawn out the worst of us. A new tone has today begun sounding at the top of our nation’s leadership, and it is already drawing out the best of us. It’s all about resonance, isn’t it?
At times, I seem to have misplaced my sense of compassion and empathy with the world. I know it’s simply purification of my heart, and the heart of humanity, from which none of us can extract ourselves. And I know that this, too, shall pass. Let it be quick and painless, Lord. Not for my sake, but that none should perish, but come to know peace and the eternal wonder of Life. And Life is truly wonderful!
Can you imagine how wonderful it must have been in Eden before we fell to this low level of mere “survival of the fittest,” as we say of the animal kingdom ?! Cannot the power of Love re-create Eden on Earth through us today? A possible direction to go in with my next post. Your thoughts? Until my next post,
Be love. Be loved.