Bishop Curry's sermon at the Royal Wedding was everything a modern wedding sermon should be: well presented, well crafted, well sounding and entirely devoid of any depth or meaning. A perfect match for the modern wedding, where the meaning and purpose of marriage has been long lost and shows no sign of being found. The wedding sermon of hidden shallows fits a culture obsessed with how things sound and not with what things mean,
Bishop Curry's message was on love and how love would make the world a better place. Well, duh. This is a message a child could have written. It's like stating that water is wet or the sun is bright to look at. True, but so obvious it's of no value. For what's there to disagree with in his message? A utopia of love sounds perfect.
But there still remains an unanswered question and in the unanswered question there is a big problem: where, Bishop Curry, is this love?
For it's clear that this love is not in this world right now. A flick through the nearest newspaper would show that. And if we are being honest we know our capacity to love others is somewhat more limited that solving world hunger. There's a selfishness within us that doesn't love others as easily as we want it too.
And if we are being deeply honest, we know that we aren't all that lovable either. We have flaws, some deep, some shallow, but always quite a few of them. We'd love it if we were always about love but we are instead frequently about pride or lust or greed or envy or gossip or hatred or lies or murder or adultery.
As the song goes: "people killing, people dying, children hurting, children crying... where is the love?" There is a huge gap between Bishop Curry's eloquent description of the goodness of a world full of love and this present withering world of ours.
Bishop Curry gave no hint about how to close this gap. Perhaps he doesn't know, perhaps he didn't think to say, but we can go beyond him and exceed his paltry idealism and naive ode to love. For God did not just tell us about how wonderful love is, as per the quotes from the Bible in the sermon, he also told us how to get it and live it and grow in it.
Bishop Curry quoted rather selectively from 1 John, so forgive me for doing the same: "This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins." (1 John 4 v10).
Love is not primarily about our love, it is primarily about God's love. But not just any love, a love that sent his Son, Jesus, as an 'atoning sacrifice for our sins'. Here is our bridge from the wonderfulness of a world with love to the reality of our world with so little of it.
We are sinners, disobedient and unruly creatures in rebellion against the Creator God. That explains the evils of our own lives and our own world. And into this world, God sent his son as an atoning sacrifice. This explains how to get to the world full of love: only through Jesus. There is no other way. We cannot will ourselves with pretty sermons and vivid illustrations about fire to a better love. We need our sins dealt with, we need a Saviour on a cross, we need a faith in Jesus.
I fear that Bishop Curry has stepped into the role of an anti-prophet, telling people what they already know and want to hear as opposed to telling people what they don't know and need to hear.
The utopia of love held out to us by Bishop Curry is out of our grasp for we in our sinfulness could not create such a place. It is a gap bridged by the cross, bridged by Jesus dying for sinners, bridged by sinners trusting in Jesus in wholehearted repentance.
This is no shallow, easy, meaningless love but a costly, rich, godly love that leads to the obedience and worship of God. I urge you all to pursue this lasting love of faith and repentance in Jesus Christ over the platitudes of feel-good love which can do nothing.