Has anyone else out there noticed the equal mix of furore and praise that has been thrown out into the social-mediasphere over the sermon Bishop Michael Curry gave at the royal wedding? There seem to be 4 sets of reactions: 1) I love this! 2) This is hilarious, 3) Shut up already and 4) how dare he say that!
The final one seems to come from Christians. I missed the royal wedding thanks to two kids with raging temperatures and a husband who could (kinda understandably) only calm one down at a time. Time heals all wounds they say. I hope it heals my bitterness over leaving my friend’s mini-wedding party right after Meghan arrived at the chapel.
BUT! I read the transcript, and I have to say – I agree with every word.
It seems Bishop Curry is a polarising character. He is an LGBTI advocate and a social justice warrior. He has added his voice to many a noble cause. I’m sure he’s stepped on the odd toe. But his sermon wasn’t about anything racially or equality-charged. In my opinion, it didn’t contain anything that should wave a red flag in front of a conservatively theological bull. His sermon was about something that should be entirely unoffensive.
It was about love.
And my, my, how offended people have gotten over that. I have read complaints over why he didn’t use his microphone time to give a Billy Grahamesque altar call to the world. Yet, his sermon did talk about the redemptive love that drove Jesus to the cross.
I have also read complaints about the over-emphasis on love. Yet Jesus did talk about love a heck of a lot. John 13:34 tells us “a new commandment I give to you. Just as I have loved you, so also you must love one another.” That was right from the mouth of the big guy. 1 Corinthians 13:13 tells us “And now these three remain: faith hope and love, and the greatest of these is love.” I’m absolutely committed to keeping this blog entry super short, so I’m not going to go into the countless times the Bible urges us towards the way of love. I’m not going to go into the ways that Jesus, in the New Testament, urges us towards love.
What I want to say is this: Perhaps when Bishop Curry took to the podium, he wasn’t just sending a message to the non-Christian world. Perhaps he was sending a message to Christians, and indeed to the head of the Church of England who was sitting in front of him.
The church today is divided. It is political. There are several taboos and passionate points. I tend to think that there are a lot of things the world needs less of, but the world could do with more of kind of thing Bishop Curry was talking about. His sermon was a call to unite. Perhaps if you were given the opportunity to take the microphone in front of the world, you’d say something different. But you weren’t. He was. And perhaps his words were inspired by a God who is calling us to love better.
That’s always a good idea. Just saying.
In the past, I’ve been guilty of something a lot of Christians would probably find themselves guilty of if they thought about it. That is, I listened to sermons with an ear for what the person next to me should get out of it. Let’s not do that with this exhortation towards love. Let’s not sit there exasperated about what he should have told non-Christians in that moment. Maybe he was only talking to them in part. Maybe he wasn’t talking to them at all. We can all love better.
Plus, there was nothing theologically heretical in that transcript. Those scriptures are actually in the Bible, and his interpretation of them is actually reasonable. Also just saying.
Bravo Bishop Curry. Perhaps if you had of made an altar call, some people would have responded. But imagine if every Christian who heard that sermon took on the challenge to show the love of Christ better. The ripple effects would be magnificent.
Over and out, people!