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Last week was filled with more bad news. Another school shooting and, no surprise, more angry disagreement about how to stop the madness.
On Saturday, we got a blessed reprieve.
Two people got married. Not just any two people mind you. This was a royal wedding. I had my starched hankie at the ready – and I needed it – when Meghan Markel stepped out of the old Rolls Royce to show off that magnificent gown.
Everything was amazing. From the sweet flower girls and pageboys, to Prince Harry saying “Thank you Pa” as Prince Charles escorted Meghan down the aisle, to the amazing gospel choir, to the loving looks the bride and groom gave each throughout the ceremony, to the absolutely spectacular blue skies. Bishop Michael Bruce Curry nearly blew Queen Elizabeth’s lime green hat off her head with his powerful sermon. Even Meghan’s rescue dog was given the royal treatment and shared a ride with the Queen. I needed that. We needed that.
Your congregation needs it too.
Bishop Curry said, “There is power in love.”
There's power in love to help and heal when nothing else can.
There's power in love to lift up and liberate when nothing else will.
There's power in love to show us the way to live.
People who come to worship need to experience and feel love. No doubt, by the way they treat others (and perhaps the way they treat you) some don’t really “deserve” it – but they need to experience the power of love, anyway. Those who show up and who aren’t disagreeable (at least not all the time), the people you like – they need to know that they are loved too.
Curry went on to say,
Oh there's power, power in love. Not just in its romantic forms, but any form, any shape of love. There's a certain sense in which when you are loved, and you know it, when someone cares for you, and you know it, when you love and you show it - it actually feels right…
Ultimately, the source of love is God himself: the source of all of our lives. There's an old medieval poem that says: “Where true love is found, God himself is there.”
Demonstrating the “power of love” is a lot easier said than done.
Maybe to show your love you’ll:
- Brag about your congregation in front of them and behind their backs.
- Affirm the good things they are doing in the community.
- Praise them for their generosity.
- Tell them that you love them and that God loves them.
Whatever you do, love your people…even when it seems impossible. The whole world stopped for an hour or two (or three) to celebrate the power of love between two individuals. You can be the one to help your congregation be powerful expressions of God’s love in this world too.