Posted by: Dr Churchill | May 21, 2018

Love is powerful, love is vast, love is about more than one young couple getting married. Love is about You and Me…

His sermon began citing the Song of Solomon:

“Love is as strong as death … its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame.”

From there he worked up a theme of love as fire.

He echoed what Dr. Martin Luther King saw and said about power in love, when he rhapsodized this simple thought:

“Don’t underestimate it.”

Then he cited an old medieval poem that said: “Where True Love is found, God himself is there.”

This thought comes from the old Latin “Caritas” hymn, whose refrain translates as: “Where Charity and Love are, God is there too.”

By now You must already know whom I am talking about when I say “He” did this, or “He” said that … or he danced around on the podium at the Windsor palace cathedral.

You are savvy to know that it is the American Archbishop whom I am talking about here, because even before he began his sermon at the marriage of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, the Most Reverend Michael Curry the American archbishop of the Anglican church in the old colonies, surely had rang a different note with the old institution of the primrosed Anglican tradition of Royal Weddings.

Unsurprisingly, Archbishop Curry is the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, of America, that is the tenuous link to the Anglican traditions of the English formed church.

And in marked contrast to the pleasant but stiff manner of the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who solemnized the marriage, and the Right Reverend David Conner, who led the service, Curry was jovial, warm, dancing, entertaining, and in some ways far more enthusiastic about this wedding than anyone else there present…

And that is a good thing considering all the pomp and circumstance, that was deployed to make this a singularly pompous occasion for all.

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In contrast, Bishop Curry, seemed more connected to the contemporary world, and far more willing to risk being the “playful foul” that will be remembered for entraining the guests.

But Curry was there to talk about reality, a novelty in this most unreal of spectacles.

Get the man an agent. Hollywood s ready and waiting for him…

Because, Curry said big truths, like love actually, is also a deeply religious institution, since at the very core of Jesus’s teachings rests the unconditional love of Humanity for our Good God.

Then comes “Love your neighbor” too.

Yet, those two concepts underpin every other commandment.

From here, Curry made a gorgeous rhetorical pivot. Jesus’s movement, he said, was revolutionary. “If you don’t believe me,” he said, “there were some old slaves in America’s antebellum South who explained the dynamic power of love and why it has the power.” Love is not only big and small, but also personal and political. It is social and it is individual, and it works even in history’s darkest hours.

Imagine a world where love drives us to be truly selfless, Curry went on. In one of the many jokes that had the congregation in small rictus grins, Curry said that “Jesus did not get an honorary doctorate for dying. He … wasn’t getting anything out of it.” Imagine if we all lived this way, Curry exhorted those in attendance, and those watching at home. “Imagine this tired old world when love is the way.”

Before he got to the second half of his sermon—which departed from the fairly traditional theme of love, its politics, its nature, its role in Christianity—Curry made a sweetly offhand remark: “With this, we’ll sit down. We gotta get y’all married.” It was one of the many moments at which the British congregation looked happy but confused. The Anglican Church in the U.K. takes a fairly solemn tone, especially at state occasions like this, and Curry’s preaching style felt notably American, and notably Southern black.

Indeed, it was a very nice and welcome change to the usual English solemn wedding mass, even if some of the British upper crust attendees were visibly perplexed, if not annoyed by the change of pace and the revolutionary theatrics of reverend Curry…

Because Curry was on fire, and his observations on actual “fire” went in some interesting and strange directions, when he began citing the French Jesuit Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, born 1881, in his words a “Jesuit, Roman Catholic priest, a scientist, a scholar, a mystic” who wrote “from his scientific background as well as his theological one” that the greatest technological breakthrough of human history was the harnessing of fire.

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Curry used fire because we could use it to cook food, prevent disease, heat homes, light up our lives, and he said that: “There was no Bronze Age without fire, no Iron Age without fire, no Industrial Revolution without fire.”

Curry went on to observe that the internal combustion engines of cars and planes run on fire. Contemporary manufacturing runs on fire. “Fire makes it possible for us to text and tweet and e-mail and Instagram and Facebook, and otherwise socially be dysfunctional with each other.”

This was perhaps the oddest moment in Curry’s address, because his shift to a critique of modern communications made it unclear whether his thoughts on fire were, at this point, literal or allegorical. I felt a little lost.

But then he took his speech back to the beginning. If we ever make a breakthrough on the level of fire again, Curry concluded, then it would change the world a second time. Citing Dr. King once more, Curry ended with the command to “discover love, the redemptive power of love.” In so doing we can fulfill King’s other great prediction: “We will make of this old world a new world.”

What was remarkable about Curry’s address was its rhetorical balance. He isolated two key elements of the Song of Solomon—fire and love—and pulled a political meaning out of both. If humanity can achieve the truest form of love, which is total selflessness, then we will achieve a breakthrough of similarly transformative power to the harnessing of fire. In turn, he used King’s vision of an old world made new as a description of that transformed world.

By referencing slavery and Dr martin Luther King, bishop Curry made it abundantly clear that the new world of love will be a utopia…

He made it sound like an inevitable future, not a conditional hope.

Coming as it did right before The Kingdom Choir’s beautiful rendition of “Stand By Me,” Curry’s address made sure that the official entry of an American to the British monarchy would be a conscious, examined and fully memorable event…

Methinks, lee should get this guy and agent and get him employed in Hollywood because his talent is wasting in the preacher’s pulpit of that most boring and most lukewarm of Christian churches — the Anglican church, of which sadly I am a member as well.

Yours,

Dr Churchill

PS:

Love is powerful, love is vast, love is about more than one young couple falling in love…

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Love is about You and Me.

Capice?


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