They [the early Christians] were empowered by love because the Spirit is love. This Spirit of love led them to renounce any other means of power, to live by the power of love only, even if this meant the handing over of one's life. Love is the only power of the Spirit and only love can be our power.
And thus the power of love was in my mind as I drifted into our sitting room to watch the royal wedding. The lead-up has been filled with gossip and speculation, the minutiae in stark contrast to weightier matters and heart-rending, sobering news from Israel, the US and elsewhere. The sight of so much love was therefore heart-warming: whether it was the unabashed radiance of the couple, or the quietly proud love of Meghan's mother, or the many couples present whose relationships are testimony to the enduring, generous love of many years together.
And then came Bishop Michael Curry, and for thirteen minutes royalty, celebrities and billions throughout the world from Alaska to Zanzibar heard a passionate, truly memorable message about the power of love, the redemptive, selfless, revolutionary, world-changing, fiery power of love. He didn't mention Pentecost, but he could have done, because the power he spoke of is the fire and energy of the Spirit, who is love, flowing and overflowing from the very Heart of Love.
There is power in love, true power and strength... and only love can be our power...This is so clearly what the Spirit wanted the world to hear this Pentecost, to bring us from the shadow of so much conflict and hate. Love is the best language, the one we can all understand, and the greatest strength, because of its selflessness. Love is the only way.
If you haven't already watched Bishop Curry, do - and even if you have, you might well want to watch again. It's on YouTube (of course), and the BBC website contains both the video of the sermon and its full text, as it was delivered.
And wishing you all a Pentecost filled with the transforming, fiery power of the Spirit of love...