A profound declaration of ‘royal’ love
by The Press and Standard | May 27, 2018 5:00 am
Last Updated: May 23, 2018 at 11:52 am
Amidst all the unrest, violence, hurt, pain, hate and divisiveness in our world today, Saturday’s royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was truly a profound demonstration of “royal” love for such a time as this.
In several ways this wedding broke from the traditional royal wedding ceremony. What I love the most about it is that it was all inclusive. The couple blended both American and British cultures, giving the world a spectacular view of their culmination of real love.
Many television spectators woke up long before the crack of dawn to be witnesses to such a historical event, which beat listening to all the negativism that we endure daily on the news. My husband and I were traveling, so we could not watch it live, but we have watched several scenes of it since then.
The world needed this demonstration of love, beauty, adoration, and yes, peace; it was right on time. In John 16:33 (ESV) Jesus says, “‘I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.’”
There were so many things about this wedding that grabbed my attention, but Bishop Michael Curry’s wedding address is one that will go down in the history books. I have never seen this at a wedding, but his impassioned message was one for such a time as this. Bishop Curry is the first African-American presiding bishop of the American Episcopal Church. The overall tone of his message was wholehearted, though sprinkled with a slight tinge of humor. “There is Power in Love” was his topic of discussion.
He began this message about love making reference to words from our fallen civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “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, for love is the only way.” Let me share some other memorable quotes from this historically profound message:
• “There’s power in love. Don’t underestimate it. Don’t even over-sentimentalize it. There’s power, power in love.”
• “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.’”
• “There’s power in love. There’s power in love to help and heal when nothing else can.”
• “Jesus of Nazareth on one occasion was asked by a lawyer to sum up the essence of the teachings of Moses, and he went back and he reached back into the Hebrew scriptures, to Deuteronomy and Leviticus, and Jesus said: ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
• “Someone once said that Jesus began the most revolutionary movement in human history. A movement grounded in the unconditional love of God for the world — and a movement mandating people to live that love, and in so doing to change not only their lives but the very life of the world itself.”
• “I’m talking about power. Real power. Power to change the world.”
• “If you don’t believe me, well, there were some old slaves in America’s Antebellum South who explained the dynamic power of love and why it has the power to transform. They explained it this way. They sang a spiritual, even in the midst of their captivity. It’s one that says ‘There is a balm in Gilead …’ a healing balm, something that can make things right.”
• “‘There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole; there is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin-sick soul.’” And one of the stanzas actually explains why. They said: “‘If you cannot preach like Peter, and you cannot pray like Paul, you just tell the love of Jesus; how he died to save us all.’”
• “Oh, that’s the balm in Gilead! This way of love; it is the way of life. They got it. He died to save us all.”
• “He didn’t die for anything He could get out of it. Jesus did not get an honorary doctorate for dying. He didn’t … He wasn’t getting anything out of it. He gave up His life; He sacrificed His life, for the good of others, for the wellbeing of the world… for us.”
• “That’s what love is. 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 imagine. Think and imagine a world where love is the way.”
• “And he then went on to say that if humanity ever harnesses the energy of fire again, if humanity ever captures the energy of love — it will be the second time in history that we have discovered fire.”
• “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.”
Glory be to God on high! What a word! What though-provoking explanations of love, power, and fire!
Another memorable demonstration of love displayed at this royal ceremony was Prince Charles’ escorting Meghan Markle down the aisle, in lieu of her father’s doing so, because of health issues. Prince Charles was soon to be her father-in-law, but he graciously stepped in, assuming the role of her father, Thomas Markle Sr.
Another instance, the lovely Doria Ragland, who was overcome with emotion as she waited to watch her “princess” marry into royalty, was arm-in-arm with Prince Charles as his wife was on the other arm following the ceremony. Earlier, Prince Charles and Ms. Ragland walked together inside of St. George’s Chapel for the signing of the register.
And what must I say about Kingdom Choir and their head-swaying rendition of the R&B classic, “Stand By Me.” How apropos for this ceremony! In the slang of our young people, “They did that!”
It was so beautiful to see the looks of love that Harry and Meghan gave each other during the singing of this song. Then there is one of the most compassionate acts of love demonstrated as a part of this marriage of royalty; in lieu of wedding gifts, this celebrated couple requested that donations are given to one of Princess Diana’s favorite charities of their choosing. Further, Diana was known as the “People’s Princess,” so Prince Harry included about 1,200 people from the public to be a part of the festivities.
What selfless acts of love in memory of Prince Harry’s mother! In this, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are genuine examples of what the Apostle Paul tells the church at Philippi, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others,” (Philippians 2:4 ESV).
There is so much more that I can say about this event that put much of the world in a peaceful trance momentarily. The internet is swarming with scenes, pictures and the like from this royal wedding, so we can gaze at our leisure. Because of the condition of our world as a whole and the desperate need for love and peace, I invite you to listen to Bishop Curry’s message in its entirety at this web address: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLoGzo945S0.
As you listen, envision a world driven by love and what could then happen for all of us. May God richly bless this extraordinary lovely couple now and forever!
Have a wonderfully blessed week, and never leave home without Him!
(Anna Bright is a minister and educator in Walterboro. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)