REV CHRIS RICHARDSON: Wanting to share God's love with others
The curate of St Mary's, Alverstoke on the royal wedding sermon everyone's talking about
Two billion people around the world watched the fantastic – and very romantic – wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle last weekend.
It’s not often that a church service attracts such high viewing figures.
I thought it was a great mixture of traditional pomp and ceremony, and some more relaxed elements that people might not have seen in a royal wedding before.
One thing that people are still talking about is the barn-storming sermon by Bishop Michael Curry.
He was passionate about the difference that real love could make to our world. He said if we could harness the power of love, we could bring an end to war, hunger and injustice.
I found myself cheering him on. It’s not often that a Christian leader gets to speak to so many people across the world, and I thought he was spot-on.
I’ve been fascinated by the reaction to what he said. Some people have suggested that if all preaching was like that, they’d go to church more often.
That suggests they haven’t been recently, as I’ve heard many sermons that are just as passionate and just as challenging.
Some people have suggested that he was rude and went on for too long. Well, apparently he was asked to preach personally by Harry and Meghan. They must have known something about his preaching style before they did so.
I think the key to his sermon was that he was himself. Subsequent interviews have shown that Bishop Michael is constantly enthusiastic and exuberant about faith, so it’s no surprise that his sermons are too.
I like to think I’m enthusiastic when I preach, but it would be wrong for me to try to copy someone like Bishop Michael. Some of my colleagues are academic, but have a wicked, dry sense of humour when they preach.
Some use heart-rending stories and get emotional about God. Some are brilliant with children and use props or drama to make a point.
But what unites them is that they are all genuine about their faith and want to share God’s love with others.
If you liked Bishop Michael’s style, why not try your local church this Sunday and see whether its leaders are just as real about their faith?
St Mary’s Church is in Green Road, Alverstoke.
Go to stmarysalverstoke.org,uk.