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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (RNS) — Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry spent the evening of Ash Wednesday at a Baptist church, preaching a Lenten message focused on love and selflessness.
“When love breaks out, we all get set free,” he said to an applauding crowd gathered at Harvest Assembly Baptist Church.
Bishop - Importance - Love - Wedding - Prince
The bishop, who preached on the importance of love at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle last year in a sermon watched by some 29 million people, continued that theme across the Potomac River from the nation’s capital.
“Imagine the White House — help me, Jesus,” he preached, “imagine the White House, the United Nations, the nations of the world if love was the law of our hearts and our land.”
New - Testament - Passage - Corinthians - Weddings
He noted that in the New Testament passage from 1 Corinthians, often cited in weddings, that speaks of “faith, hope and love,” the Apostle Paul also warns that love “is not selfish.”
“The truth is the essence of sin is self-centeredness,” he said. “And when God is on the periphery, when everybody else is on the periphery, you have a selfish world, a selfish church, a selfish country and you have a world, a church, a country on the verge of self-destruction.
Selfishness - Cancer - Anything
“Selfishness is a cancer that will destroy from within better than anything can destroy from without,” he added.
“Yeah,” responded one audience member. “My Lord,” said another.
Revival - Sprinkling - Episcopalians - Music - Call-and-response
The predominantly black, ecumenical revival, which included a sprinkling of white and black Episcopalians, was accompanied by lively organ music and a congregational call-and-response that would be atypical at an Episcopal cathedral service.
In an interview with Religion News Service before he gave his message, Curry said he attended an early service for Ash Wednesday — the beginning of Lent’s six-week period of penitence leading to Easter Sunday — at St. John’s Episcopal Church near the White...
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