I didn’t get up in the middle of the night to watch the big event on television, but I did make certain the royal wedding of Megan Markle to Prince Harry on Saturday, May 19th was recorded.
I love pomp, pageantry, and a good love story. And, I relish almost everything British.
For years I’d told my husband I thought we ‘should’ get a headboard for our king-sized bed. But, it wasn’t until after several episodes of Downton Abbey as I watched Lady Mary Crawley reclining against a huge headboard while reading in bed, that my vague desire became reality. I now feel quite elegant reading in bed, leaning against the tall, tufted headboard I found on Wayfair.com, even though my attire in sleep pants and faded t-shirt is a far cry from the Lady’s lovely lingerie.
All factors of British splendor were provided plentifully in the beautiful Windsor Castle wedding, and I enjoyed every minute. I was, however, surprised by an aspect of the much-watched, televised event. The high-profile marriage blended a variety of cultural aspects, which frankly, I found refreshing and lovely.
I was touched especially by the sermon delivered by Bishop Michael Curry, a black Episcopal priest from Chicago. His zealous delivery included quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King and references to the Civil Rights movement as well as vibrant descriptions of the power of love, especially, the love of God as exhibited through Jesus Christ.
The television cameras captured discomfort—perhaps even disapproval—of staid Brits during the passionate preacher’s talk. I understood, and on some levels, even related to their discomfort.
Their reactions reminded me of a story told by an Evangelical pastor friend. The clergyman found it necessary to go to a rough and tumble biker bar to deliver a message about one of the bartender’s family members. The conservative religious leader admitted to being uncomfortable in the unfamiliar environment but explained his epiphany when a patron sidled up to the out-of-place pastor waiting at the bar, and said, “Now you know how we feel when we go to church, preacher!”
It’s normal to feel uncomfortable in an unfamiliar environment or with people not part of our accustomed culture, people who don’t speak our same language or share our well-known, cherished faith traditions.
While watching this phenomenon on television, I too had an epiphany—or, perhaps, merely some reminders:
1) God is never surprised.
2) No cultural norm, however well-established or rough and tumble, causes Jesus discomfort.
3) God views spiritual practices, whether that of a 6th Century Desert Father or Mother or those of 21st Century Anglican or evangelical believers, through the lens of Divine love.
The same God who gave Jesus in love to illustrate God’s exact image remains the same God.
The fancy theological term for this God-characteristic is immutability. God’s character has always been as it is now and will always be. God’s character of love is innate and unchangeable.
I’m not sure about you, but this truth creates enormous comfort in the soul of this grandma, who is all too aware of her most pronounced mutability.
Whoever you are, wherever you may be in your faith journey, I pray blessings on you today…