Like several million other people I happened to watch part of the royal wedding over the weekend. Full of pomp and ceremony, it focused on the happy couple but there were also some surprises during the day. People are talking about the sermon, something that doesn’t happen often in our culture.
The guest preacher, a bishop from the Episcopal Church in the United States, was definitely a change for much of the British establishment. He brought a refreshing tone and a lot of passion that he wasn’t afraid to share. His theme, appropriate for a wedding, was love. His point was that the world has yet to really see what love can do. Speaking about the power of love he said:
Imagine our homes and families where love is the way. Imagine neighbourhoods and communities where love is the way. Imagine governments and nations where love is the way. Imagine business and commerce where this love is the way. Imagine this tired old world where love is the way.
When love is the way – unselfish, sacrificial, redemptive. When love is the way, then no child will go to bed hungry in this world ever again. When love is the way, we will let justice roll down like a mighty stream and righteousness like an ever-flowing brook. When love is the way, poverty will become history. When love is the way, the earth will be a sanctuary.
When love is the way, we will lay down our swords and shields, down by the riverside, to study war no more. When love is the way, there’s plenty good room – plenty good room – for all of God’s children. Because when love is the way, we actually treat each other, well… like we are actually family. When love is the way, we know that God is the source of us all, and we are brothers and sisters, children of God. My brothers and sisters, that’s a new heaven, a new earth, a new world, a new human family.
Well, that preaches. No wonder people are still talking about it. He paints a vision of the future that we can’t help but desire. He reminds us however that it starts with us. Earlier in the sermon he quoted from a hymn, “If you cannot preach like Peter, and you cannot pray like Paul, you just tell the love of Jesus, how he died to save us all.”‘ That’s what each one of us can do: Show and tell the love of Jesus. It starts with us showing his love towards others.
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13