From the sensational sermon by the Most Rev. Michael Curry, the first African American to preside over the Episcopal Church, who focused his sermon at the royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on Saturday on “the redemptive power of love”:
French Jesuit Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was arguably one of the great minds, great spirits of the 20th century. Jesuit, Roman Catholic priest, scientist, a scholar, a true mystic. Some of his writings from his scientific background as well as his theological one, some of his writings said, as others have said, that the discovery and harnessing of fire was one of the great technological discoveries of human history. Fire, to a great extent, made human civilization possible. Fire made it possible to cook food and to provide sanitary ways of eating, which reduced the spread of disease in its time. Fire made it possible to heat warm environments and thereby marking human migration a possibility even into colder climates. Fire made it possible — there was no Bronze Age without fire, no Iron Age without fire, no Industrial Revolution without fire. … Anybody get here in a car today? An automobile? Nod your heads if you did; I know there were some carriages. Those of us who came in cars, the controlled, harnessed fire made that possible.
I know that the Bible says, and I believe it that Jesus walked on water, but I have to tell you I didn’t walk across the Atlantic Ocean to get here. Controlled fire in that plane got me here. Fire makes it possible for us to text, and tweet, and email, and Instagram, and Facebook, and socially be dysfunctional with each other. Fire makes that possible, and de Chardin said fire was one of the great discoveries in all of human history. He went on to say if humanity ever harnesses the energy of fire again, if humanity ever captured the energies of love, it will be the second time in the history that will have discovered fire.
Dr. King was right. We must discover love, the redemptive power of love. And when we do that, we will be able to make of this old world a new world.
This is Pentecost. Read it all.