How does one prepare to preach to an audience of 2+ billion people? In an interview with CBS news following the announcement of his invitation to deliver the homily at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, The Most Rev. Michael Bruce Curry, Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church (USA) had the following to say when asked about his approach to preparing for the sermon:
“I have no idea, I’m just going to show up… I’ll never forget my daddy told me when I was fairly new as a priest, he said just always be who you really are. Don’t pretend to be someone else,” Curry said.
Curry “just showed up” with 40 years of preaching experience, a depth of theological education and a history of skillfully navigating public stages, political realities and cultural complexities. Of course, we all know that Curry did more than “just show up.” It has been reported that he prepared and submitted a sermon manuscript a week prior to the ceremony. The sermon itself reflected a depth of preparation that included quotes from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a French Jesuit priest, philosopher and paleontologist.
There is a powerful lesson for all preachers of the gospel in Curry’s commitment to authenticity: God has called YOU to proclaim good news and timeless truths to God’s people whomever and wherever they may be. When opportunities present themselves to share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the most important thing that you can do is “just show up!”
- How did Bishop Curry’s “Royal Wedding” sermon impact you as a Young Preacher (or preacher in general)?
- How do you manifest authenticity in your own preaching?
Before Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry became a global icon, he was the keynote Preacher at the 2017 National Festival of Young Preachers.