I hope my interfaith brothers and sisters will indulge us American Anglicans – better known as Episcopalians – for just a moment of pride.
Not because one of our own preached at the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle; not because he is the head of our national church; but because of who he is and what he said. His sermon cut to the heart of social justice.
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry of the US Episcopal Church is the descendant of slaves and the first person of color to lead our church at its highest level. To an extensive gathering of British royals and the millions of others listening in, he quoted Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on the transforming miracle of love. “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.”
He said that love has the power to help and heal when nothing else can. And love has the power to lift up and liberate when nothing else will.
“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 is plenty of room – plenty good room – for all of God’s children.”
How I ache for this vision offered to the royal couple on the day they wed. No hungry child. No poverty. No war. A pristine Earth. Welcome and space for all. Radical justice for everyone. I’m sorry, Presiding Bishop Curry, that I fall so short of the means to this vision. I march, sign petitions, mobilize others to resist with me the darkness that has descended upon our country and world. But my heart forgets the message of Dr. King that you have now rekindled: the only thing that ultimately triumphs over social evil is love.
– Rev. Nature Johnston, Episcopal Church of the Nativity, Grand Junction, Western Slope Faith Leaders Table