Scripture: 1 John 4:7-21
Key verses: (7-8) 7Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.
Reflection: I did not get up early to watch the royal wedding this past Saturday, but I know people who did. By the time I tuned in, the guests were seated, the sermon and vows were over, and the special music was underway. I got to watch the fabulous young cellist, the recessional, and the carriage ride. I heard some commentators dissecting the dress. The chatter among my preacher friends on social media, however, was all about the sermon. The Presiding Bishop of the American Episcopal Church, Michael Curry, (who served as a priest and as Bishop of the North Carolina diocese) gave a powerful message on the redemptive power of love. The mostly British crowd may have been slightly bemused by him and his preaching style, but what a Word to bring to them and to the whole world watching. If you haven’t watched it, take 13 minutes to do so. My favorite part is this:
“That’s what love is. Love is not selfish and self-centered. Love can be sacrificial, and in so doing, becomes redemptive. And that way of unselfish, sacrificial, redemptive love changes lives, and it can change this world. If you don’t believe me, just stop and imagine. Think and imagine a world where love is the way. Imagine our homes and families where love is the way. Imagine neighborhoods 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.”
Watch the whole sermon here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mb4F9mPhWwQ
Prayer: Lord, you are the source of love. Help us love like you love. In the name of Christ, the One who showed us what it is to love, we pray. Amen.
Author: Julie Hester
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].