The Royal Wedding Meets the Jesus Movement

Archbishop Welby tweeted the following,

“I’m thrilled that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have asked Bishop Michael Curry to preach at their wedding. @PB_Curry is a brilliant pastor, stunning preacher and someone with a great gift for sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.”

Obviously it is a great honor for our Presiding Bishop to preach at the upcoming nuptials of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Yet, knowing the Presiding Bishop as I do, it will be as it is every time he preaches: an opportunity for him to proclaim the love of Jesus. And this is undoubtedly one of the greatest blessings of having Michael Curry serve as our Presiding Bishop. He is unabashed in sharing his own experience of love from and for Jesus. Because of this, the Episcopal Church under his tenure has found a resurgence of confidence in our capacity to proclaim who Jesus is for us.

In many respects our corporate, and consequently our individual, reluctance to publicly align with Jesus is somewhat understandable. The Jesus being proclaimed in the public square has been, for many, unrecognizable compared to the Jesus they were taught about and more importantly the Jesus they know and love. Stealing Jesus, a book by Bruce Brower intrigued many individuals in the late 1990s, if for no other reason than the title itself. The author’s suggestion that the Jesus of the scriptures had been co-opted by a particular group resonated with many people.

That concern for how Jesus is portrayed in the public square is as relevant today as it ever was. There is a very strong response from our Presiding Bishop and other religious leaders, called ‘Reclaiming Jesus: A Confession of Faith in a Time of Crises’ that says:

 “We are living through perilous and polarizing times as a nation, with a dangerous crisis of moral and political leadership at the highest levels of our government and in our churches. We believe the soul of the nation and the integrity of faith are now at stake.

It is time to be followers of Jesus before anything else—nationality, political party, race, ethnicity, gender, geography—our identity in Christ precedes every other identity. We pray that our nation will see Jesus’ words in us. “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35)

[…] The question we face is this: Who is Jesus Christ for us today? What does our loyalty to Christ, as disciples, require at this moment in our history? We believe it is time to renew our theology of public discipleship and witness. Applying what “Jesus is Lord” means today is the message we commend as elders to our churches.”

These Church leaders then go on to articulate six statements of belief. I commend the article to you: reclaimingjesus.org.

I am grateful that our Presiding Bishop has been so clear about his passion for Jesus. Whether it be his call to us to be the Episcopal branch of the Jesus movement, his taking a stand with other religious leaders as part of a movement to reclaim Jesus, or his “sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ” to the royal newlyweds, his love for Jesus is a blessing to us all.

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