Whether or not you watched the Royal Wedding, you may have heard about the powerful sermon delivered by the Reverend Michael Bruce Curry, the African-American head of the Episcopal Church. In an impassioned homily, Curry reminded us that there is no more powerful force than love—because, put simply, God is love.
While Curry’s sermon received wide praise, a few naysayers complained it went on for too long. I would beg to differ, but if you’re of that ilk, or if you missed it entirely, I’ve edited a transcript of the sermon below. I’ve highlighted what I believe are the key passages and its primary message. It’s a great speech, made all the more remarkable by the fact it was witnessed by hundreds of millions worldwide.
The late Dr. Martin Luther King once said, and I quote, we must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love. And when we do that we will make of this old world a new world.
There’s power in love. Don’t underestimate it. Don’t even over-sentimentalize it. There’s power, power in love.
If you don’t believe me, think about a time when you first fell in love. The whole world seemed to center around you and your beloved.
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. There’s something right about it.
And there’s a reason for it. The reason has to do with the source.
We were made by a power of love. And our lives were meant and are meant to be lived in that love. That’s why we are here.
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.
The New Testament says it this way: Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God and those who love are born of God and know God. Those who do not love, do not know God.
Why? For God is love.
There’s 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.
I’m talking about some power. Real power. Power to change the world.
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 think and imagine.
Well, think and imagine a world where love is the way. Imagine our homes and families when 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 when love is the way.
Imagine this tired old world when 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.
Dr. King was right: We must discover love, the redemptive power of love. And when we do that, we will make of this old world a new world.
My brother, my sister, God love you, God bless you. And may God hold us all in those almighty hands of love.