Episcopal Presiding Bishop Michael Curry paid tribute to the legacy of civil rights activist the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., saying that “the power of love overcomes the love of power,” in a sermon at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Los Angeles.
Speaking at a special Sunday afternoon service on Jan. 15, the day before the national Martin Luther King holiday, Curry said the power of love can be applied to such contemporary issues as homelessness, LGBTQ discrimination and the war in Ukraine, reported the Orange County Register.
“Love urges us on so that we no longer live for ourselves alone. The old creation leads to the new creation and we shall overcome,” Curry said, echoing a key song of the civil rights movement.
The church needs to emphasize the message. “You hear more about love on ‘The Young and the Restless’ than you hear in church … We need to preach goodness in the world, the kind of love when you feed people who are hungry…when you take people without homes and give them homes. Christ’s love compels us,” he said.
“[Curry’s] message was one of letting love rule the world to truly see change … which Martin Luther King Jr. spoke about during his lifetime. Also, that faith provides hope, so lean into it and rely on it for strength … talk about a spiritual workout,” audience member Stephanie Hibbard posted on Good Shepherd Church’s Facebook page.
The Diocese of Los Angeles, in announcing the service, said music would be provided by the Episcopal Chorale Society during the liturgy planned by the diocesan Program Group on Black Ministries and the MLK service planning group. The local chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians also participated in the planning.
Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass and diocesan bishop John Taylor also invoked King’s passion for justice as they spoke at the service about homelessness in the city. “Bass, along with two council members and our own Bishop John Taylor, made a commitment to work toward housing justice. They made it seem possible and real,” wrote audience member Laura Eustis Siriani on Facebook.