While the wedding of Prince Harry and Megan Markle was news last week negative reaction to it has been news this week, although you are forgiven if you are not aware of that. The reactions have mainly been from conservative theologians, atheists, traditionalists and anti-monarchists. The latter, of course, hate anything to do with the monarchy in any form, so . . . Meh. Traditionalists hate anything that has never been done before, so again . . . Meh. Atheists don’t seem to have a clue about anything religious but love to beat up on their strawman in the sky. As for conservative theologians I am a theology geek so I am compelled to comment! Most negative comments from theologians of the conservative/traditionalist type have been about the lack of Gospel in Bishop Curry’s sermon. If you are taken aback by that you probably listened to the sermon and are aware that it was about the transforming power of love – what many Christians actually believe is the Gospel of Jesus. For those critical of the sermon, however, the Gospel is about being judged, condemned, forgiven and saved by Jesus’ death and resurrection – but only if you have repented from your sins. For these critics Curry blew the opportunity to reach over a billion viewers with the message that they were bound for hell for just about everything unless they prayed the right prayer and agreed to the right thoughts about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
I, for one, think that most of the critics need to repent of their exclusive and alienating judgementalism that disables them from experiencing the transforming power of love of which Bishop Curry spoke so eloquently. While it is true that the word love has been trivialized and watered down to mean feeling good until you feel bad about something or some one, that is not what the good Bishop was referring to. The way of love that is the Christ of God is not wishy-washy, namby-pamby, theology lite or any other dismissive labels you can think up in order to cling to your judgementalism. The way of love is too difficult and dangerous for most of us to seriously try. It can lead to all kinds of difficulty with the established order and the invisible power of those who manipulate and maneuver the market empire. It can lead to crucifixion and most get reluctant at that thought, which is why we are invited into a community of faithful people for support and encouragement. This is why only love can end poverty, slavery and a host of other social problems when fully engaged by enough people.
Whether the deepening of our personal experience, understanding and expression of God’s love will transform the world or not, we are still invited into an awesome relationship with the Love that brings the world into creation and calls us into healing and wholeness that can transform our small part of creation, and who knows what else when we join with others who endeavor to live that Love.