This month over two billion people heard the Most Rev. Michael B. Curry preach a message on the power of love that is being called “the sermon heard round the world.” Broadcasters referred to Bishop Curry’s sermon as the “breakout moment” of the royal wedding.
Several days after the royal wedding, our Presiding Bishop marched outside the White House alongside other religious leaders in an effort to call our nation back to true Christian values of love, integrity, honesty, compassion and respecting the dignity of every human being.
Our focus on separating children from their parents at the border, shooting of illegal immigrants, systemic racism, the terrible treatment of blacks by police, rampant sexual harassment faced by women, mistreating members of the LGBTQ community, mass incarceration of blacks and the vast proliferation of guns are things that our nation must address.
We need unity, wisdom, compassion and above all Christian love. I concur with Bishop Curry that the focus on “America First” is a form of theological heresy. Our call is to follow Jesus and be good citizens of the world. Our politics should never override our faith.
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry is one of the signers of a document called “Reclaiming Jesus” that was released on Ash Wednesday of 2018. I urge you to read it. You may not agree with all of it, but I encourage you to meditate prayerfully on it.
This document came out of a time of retreat and reflection by the leaders who signed it. One sign of God’s grace is our ability to change our outlook. There are a wide number of issues that I once opposed that I now favor. There were societal changes that threatened me as a white, Anglo, heterosexual male that I now see as gifts to the common good. I now see diversity as a great gift, rather than a threat. If we are not open to listening, learning and changing our outlook, then we will close ourselves off to God who often speaks in new and unexpected ways.
I fear that our country is moving away from what truly makes it shine. Our commitment to moral values, our ability to integrate many people into one people and our democracy have led many to admire America. We need to return to what unites us, rather than what divides us. The 24/7 news cycle is leading people to feast on increasingly biased news forms that are generated by a media industry that is constantly seeking to produce sensational news. It’s unhealthy.
Truth must once again be honored. The growing ability to spread lies without accountability is a threat to civil society. For a Christian, truth is everything, and lying is abhorrent.
There is much work to be done and many opportunities for leaders to emerge to help us heal and reunite as a nation and throughout the world. For Christians, our work always begins with prayer and remembering that each person is created in the image of God. Our Baptism Covenant calls us to respect the dignity of every human being. As Episcopalians, we offer a “big tent,” that welcomes one and all into a deeper spiritual journey with God. Our mission is not easy, but it’s vital for the welfare of the world.
With love and prayers,