This past Saturday, May 19, I got to hear a wonderful sermon. I didn’t get up early enough to actually watch the Royal Wedding, but with the benefit of the Internet, I was able to select segments to view. I heard the gospel choir sing “Stand By Me” and I listened to the entire sermon of Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Rev. Michael Curry deliver a powerful message to people from around Great Britain and other countries who came for the wedding as well as millions who watched it all on TV and online.
He spoke of Love. He chose a passage from the Song of Solomon. I hope everyone knows that this is a book in the Bible. If it has been a while since you have read this book, look at it again. This is the passage he read, “Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flames of fire, a roaring flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.”
He then moved on to quote Dr. Martin Luther King, “We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love. And when we do that, we will make of this old world a new world, for love is the only way.”
Love has the power to bridge and remove the chasms that seems to exist between people. We are in a world that holds fast to the concept that it is all about “us against them.” We fear those who look different, speak a different language, practice another faith, wear unusual clothing, or hold a different world view. We seem unable to grasp that we must discover the commonality that can bring together all of our brothers and sisters, the commonality that our faith dares us to LOVE EACH OTHER, and to LOVE GOD WITH OUR WHOLE SELF.
Love is stronger than fear. All we have to do is trust that love is stronger than anything we may face. In our current world, fear is the driving force. We have to get our own before we can risk loving others. This is not the way that Jesus taught us to live. It is the way of the world. Let the flame of love kindle a fire in our hearts that can bring people together to build wholeness for everyone, (SHALOM).
There is another place that is watched Rev. Michael Curry. HE starts off a video of religious leaders challenging us to reclaim the name of Jesus and his teaching of love for our brothers and sisters, not to use His name to claim worldly power or advancement, but to lift up those most marginalized in the world. Rev. Curry is joined by other names that we might recognize, Rev Sharon Watkins and Rev. Cynthia Hale. Go online and look for the video produced by Sojourners titled Reclaiming Jesus. Watch it in light of the sermon on love and pray for the strength to love as Jesus loved us.