by Pam Tinsley
I was captivated by Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s passionate sermon at the royal wedding this past weekend, as I’m sure many of you were. The core of his message: “We must discover the redemptive power of love . . . and when we do that, we will be able to make of this old world a new world.” Love, he says, is the only way.
I had the joy of hearing Bishop Curry preach and speak at the Evangelism Matters Conference in March, where he made it clear that love, beginning with God’s love for humankind, is the heart of evangelism. Evangelism is understood not as bringing more people into our pews on Sunday, but rather as building a better world, a more loving and caring world – a world where all people are treated with dignity and respect. We were asked to think about evangelism as seeking, naming, and celebrating Jesus’ loving presence in the stories of all people – and then to invite everyone to MORE! And God is in charge of the MORE!
For Christians, our relationship with Jesus transforms our lives. It leads us to be more loving and strengthens us to serve as instruments in creating a more loving and just world. Consider what your own life would be like without knowing God, without knowing Jesus, without being empowered by the Holy Spirit! Where would our world be without Jesus as our center, helping us to love one another; helping us to care for one another; helping us to transform our old world into the new world filled with justice, hope – and love! God’s love for us in Jesus Christ matters. Love heals. Love transforms. And when we ourselves love, we experience that love is, actually, the only way.
 Evangelism Matters 2018; The Episcopal Church. www.episcopalchurch.org/evangelism. March 2018.