When the history of the church in the U.S. in the early twenty-first century is written, there will be a question as to exactly who the one known as Jesus of Galilee was understood to be. There will be questions as to whether what he taught made any difference in the way folks lived their lives today.
My prayer, my hope, is that the history will include the sermon that Bishop Michael Curry preached at the wedding of Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Bishop Curry’s powerful message captured much of the teachings of the Jesus long ago. It was a vision that is far from much of what passes for Christian teaching in too many American churches.
While the wedding sermon for Prince Harry and Meghan Merkle was heard by perhaps two billion people around the world, Bishop Curry joined hundreds of other religious leaders in the United States only four days later in an even more important event focused on “Reclaiming Jesus.”
They marched on the White House and proclaimed that the ‘America First’ slogan adopted by national leaders in the U.S. is “a theological heresy for the followers of Christ.” [See: Reclaiming Jesus in a Time of Crises].
It is the sermon Bishop Curry preached at National City Church in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday evening that deserves even more attention. Curry said we are called to: “Love the neighbor you like and the neighbor you don’t like. Love the neighbor you agree with and the neighbor you don’t agree with. Love your Democrat neighbor, your Republican neighbor, your black neighbor, your white neighbor, your Anglo neighbor, your Latino neighbor and your LGBTQ neighbor. Love your neighbor! That’s why we’re here!”
Yes, that is indeed why we are here. When the story of the church in this century is written, I pray it will be of the church that decided to Reclaim Jesus.