Television images told of a traumatic week: Hawaii’s volcano spewing havoc, coffins piling up in Cuba after a plane crashes, a school bus accident leaving dead and injured, flooding, political finger pointing, and another mass school shooting. Grief and horror overload, until a respite through a royal wedding.
For a few hours, millions of eyes and ears adjusted to something good unfolding in a suffering world. We soaked up picture perfect weather, pageantry, flag-waving crowds, fascinators, the dress and watching Prince Harry and Meghan exchange that look of love.
Music filled Windsor Chapel and spilled onto the streets and through our televisions.
Then came the verbal fascinator when God showed up through the presence and sermon by Bishop Michael Curry.
Kleenex stock took off, probably, for wiping tears, hiding a smile, muffling a yawn or worse on some faces unaccustomed to an impassioned sermon by a black bishop from the Episcopal church in the USA.
Truth, especially Gospel Truth, unsettles.
It’s no fairy tale.
The heart of his message, and there was plenty of heart, Rx: God’s Love for a sin sick, suffering world.
Yesterday, our Father Patrick Gray, referred to this sermon and veered off the printed program to have us sing, “There is a Balm in Gilead”, ” since Stand by Me is not in our hymnal.”
Needed Patrick’s sermon enough to return for the late service, take another dose and sing of Jesus, God’s balm to “make the wounded whole and heal the sin-sick soul.”
Television commentators told of crowds along the streets of Windsor, singing along with the gospel choir, Stand by Me.
” No I won’t be afraid, No I won’t be afraid, Just as long as you stand, stand by me.”
The sermon began with, “We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love.” (Martin Luther King, Jr.)
Bishop Curry reminded us, Jesus said, ” You must love the Lord, your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. The second is equally important, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31 NLT)
At our wedding, we had a reading from I Corinthians 13.
“LOVE is patient
LOVE is not jealous
LOVE does not demand its own way.
LOVE is not irritable,
and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged.
It is never glad about injustice
but rejoices whenever truth wins out.
LOVE never gives up,
never loses faith,
is always hopeful,
and endures through every circumstance.” (from I Corinthians 13: 4-7 NLT)
This kind of Love makes the impossible possible.
“There is a Balm (in this world) to make the wounded whole and heal the sin-sick soul.”
No expiration date.
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