"Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it" (Song of Songs 8:6-7).
With that quote, Bishop Michael Curry began his sermon at the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and eyes and ears across the world were watching and listening to his message.
The late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, and I quote:
“We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love. And when we discover that, we will be able to make of this old world a new world. Love is the only way.”
There’s power in love. Do not underestimate it. Don’t even over-sentimentalize it.
What struck me about Bishop Curry's message was one repeated theme—we are all children of God, a single family.
While many religions believe that phrase in a symbolic, metaphorical sense, I kept thinking how blessed I am as a member of the Church to know that fact in the depths of my soul in a literal, life-shaping way. Our spirits all stem from the same divine source—our Heavenly Parents—and as brothers and sisters, we all have the potential to reach for the same capacity of light and love our Parents in Heaven possess.
As Bishop Curry said:
We were made by a power of love. Our lives were and are meant to be lived in that love. That is why we are here. Ultimately the source of love is God himself. The source of all of our lives. . . .
There’s power in love. Love can help and heal when nothing else can. Love can lift up and liberate for living when nothing else will. . . .
Jesus of Nazareth taught us that the way of love is the way to a real relationship with the God who created all of us, and the way to true relationship with each other as children of that one God, as brothers and sisters in God’s human family.
One scholar said it this way:
“Jesus had founded the most revolutionary movement in human history: a movement built on the unconditional love of God for the world and the mandate to live that love.” (Charles Marsh’s The Beloved Community)
I’m talking about power. Real power — power to change the world.
Another thought that struck me while listening to Bishop Curry's words was the amount of light and knowledge we can gain by opening our ears and hearts to truth in all its forms. No matter what religion another might belong to, no matter what political party, no matter what nation, race, economic class, or group, all of us are children of God with access to personal revelation and God's constant love and light.
It is because of our differences, not in spite of them, that we should listen to and seek truth from each other. Personal revelation comes through actively seeking, studying, and searching, and because our lives are so varied, each of us will seek out different questions and receive unique guidance. Imagine all we could learn about the mercy, the grace, the works, the expansiveness, the miracles, and the unconditional love of God by opening ourselves up to others and discovering the ways His hand has shaped their lives. Instead of focusing on our differences in doctrine, views, lifestyles, or opinions, what could we learn from focusing on the core commonality that connects us all as a heavenly family?
As Bishop Curry testified:
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 can change lives and it can change this world. . . .
When love is the way, we know that God is the source of us all. We are brothers and sisters, children of God.
Brothers and sisters: that’s a new heaven, a new earth, a new world, a new human family.