Recently I had the great good fortune to hear a sermon by the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States, the Most Rev. Michael Curry. We were in St. Augustine Episcopal Church in Gary, Indiana. Bishop Curry is a humble man who exudes joy and love. If you ever have the chance to hear him speak, do it!
Bishop Curry’s sermon was on one of his favorite themes: the Jesus Movement. He shared with us that Jesus didn’t come to start a church or a religion. He came to start a revolution. He said that the revolution is based on two commandments: Love God and Love Your Neighbor as Yourself. He said that if we did those two things, God could change the world.
I’ve been thinking about that since I heard him speak. I think that no matter what religion a person is, or even if a person ascribes to no faith tradition at all, this is a message for all humanity.
What would that look like? What would it look like if each of us committed to loving the person we were with in each moment? Now, I didn’t say “like” the person we are with or “agree” with the person we are with. I said “love.” To love someone is to wish him well; to want good things for her; to recognize God reflected in his eyes.
[To like someone, I would argue, means to want to spend time with that person. There are plenty of people I love with whom I don’t necessarily want to spend time, nor with whom I agree, but I do wish them well and want good things for them.]
So, I’ve been trying this. I’ve been trying to be mindful of loving the person I am with at any given time. Truly, I find that the “loving” the person is not always the hard part. For me, the hard part is being mindful to actually do it. And is it true for you too that loving a stranger is oftentimes easier than loving a family member? Strangers don’t know which buttons of mine to push to get a reaction!
Think about this: if every person in my house, in my office, in my town, in my state, in my country, on my continent, in my world loved (wished well, wanted good things for, recognized God in) the person s/he was with, even for a moment…what peace! What joy we would have, even for a moment. The violence would stop. The hate would stop. THAT’s the essence of this revolution.
Are you willing to try it with me? What if we all hit on the same moment at the same time? We could change the world.
To learn more about the Most Rev. Michael Curry and The Jesus Movement, visit http://www.episcopalchurch.org/staff/most-rev-michael-b-curry or Google him. It could change your life. It could change our world.