I just took the opportunity to watch and listen to The Most Reverend Michael Curry, the first African-American Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, preach his righteous butt off at the occasion of the royal wedding yesterday. Bishop Curry, in 13 minutes of eloquence and spirit, laid out the message of what the power of love could make possible in the world, on many frames, to an audience that was clearly not used to, as we say “in the community!”, “havin’ church! It was sum’thin else again.
Today, on this day after THE day, I’ve heard and read so many people, talking about, praising, philosophizin’ and recounting their impressions of this amazing sermon. I’ve also heard a few people saying that it didn’t “touch them” or “was too long” or that he “didn’t say enough about the state of this or that.”
Well, I will say this. To me, “Brother Bishop” PREACHED! That much can be said with clarity. And he told the truth without making it a diatribe or a political grandstand. He was, after all, in his own words “trying to get these two married!” in a day filled with pomp and circumstance and hours of event laden activity. He stayed in frame but made it verrrrrrry colorful.
He addressed the couple and the place of love in their choice of each other. And he acknowledged that their love was deep. He said, “I’m talking’ bout some POWER!! as the candles shook on the pulpit. He made the point that he was not just talking about two people loving each other. He was on fire with the spirit of what Dr King told us the love would be the “ONLY thing that will change this world!” He was not just talking about that thing that we so often toss off as a statement of making ourselves “happy” or personally fulfilled.
We are presently seeing some excellent examples of what greedy, selfish, colluding, power seeking, hateful, unloving disciples of the political and financial class are capable of unleashing on the world. So maybe it’s time to hear, AGAIN, the message that a world in which love is the measure of principle, action, belief and policy, will be one in which justice, abundance, fairness and equality are paramount. Where the actual policies and actions of the world would be transformed. Yes, he used the “T” word! A world where the kind of madness that rips families apart, makes it impossible for people to find healthcare and housing and widens the gap between rich and poor simply because it’s legal to do so and some people just want more, is not enough.
He delivered that message as the gathered dignitaries smiled, squirmed and fidgeted in their fancy clothes. I hope those powerful few truly heard the meaning in the words that resonated and reverberated in that vast cathedral yesterday. Cuz Brother Bishop, a man of action who has endured his own journey of challenging hate, prejudice and pain, put the word out for all to hear. His message was clear and his voice was filled with passion.
The Bible says, “If I speak with the tongues of men or of angels, but I do not have love, I am nothing more than a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” Sound familiar?
We live in a very loud and shrill world where evil and dysfunction trumpet the desires of those who would lead us as they share their opinions and enforce three will nonstop. Where brash displays of self serving behavior is seen as normal. It’s way past time to infuse some love into this equation before we hit bottom on the humanity scale.
Thank you Meghan and Harry. The good bishop made you sit a little longer but it was a lovely service. And really quite stirring.