A guide to the royal wedding sermon: Listen for love

Saturday is the big day, not only for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, but for millions upon millions of people who will tune in to watch the royal wedding.

There will be plenty of things to notice in the wedding ceremony. The clothes will be stunning. The flowers will be beautiful. The procession will be impressive. The words of the ceremony, with their Shakespearian cadences, will be both beautiful and inspiring.

Amid all that, don’t forget to notice the address. For the first time, an American has been invited to speak at a royal wedding. Bishop Michael Bruce Curry, the head of the Episcopal Church in the U.S. will give a brief sermon during the ceremony.

You can read Bishop Curry’s biographical details, but the best way to understand him is to hear him preach. The man can certainly preach! Not long ago, he preached at the Washington National Cathedral, and he offered a powerful sermon. If you want to get a sample of Bishop Curry’s strong preaching, here he is talking about how Christians should be witnessing to Christ’s love.

I know Bishop Curry well. He serves as the president of the board of the organization I serve, Forward Movement, and I’ve heard him preach many times. As you listen on Saturday, there are several things to expect.

Bishop Curry will preach about love. Of course, this is appropriate for a wedding, but every sermon he preaches and almost every conversation he has is about God’s love. You can expect to hear about God’s love for everyone.

When he preaches for Episcopal Church occasions, Bishop Curry often talks about the Jesus Movement, the call for all people to know Jesus and to be transformed by him. He probably won’t talk about the Jesus Movement, but he will certainly talk about Jesus.

Transformation will be a theme. Bishop Curry will not just give a dry address for a photo op. No, he will invite people to be transformed through relationship with Jesus Christ.

Bishop Curry will struggle. Mostly, he’ll be battling the clock. Reports say he’s been given just a few short minutes to preach at the wedding. But he is accustomed to preaching for 20 or 30 minutes. He’ll rise to the occasion, I’m sure. But if you think to yourself “he’s just getting started,” you’re right.

Bishop Curry loves to quote African-American spirituals, and sometimes he gets the congregation singing. Now, he probably won’t expect the Queen to burst into song, but don’t be surprised if Bishop Curry invokes spirituals.

Every time I listen to a sermon, I try to do one thing. I ask myself, “What is God saying to me through this preacher’s voice?” If you listen this way, you might just find yourself inspired and transformed.

And if you ever get a chance to hear Bishop Curry preach in person, do it. He’s even better when he has more than a few minutes to preach.

Give the man some time to build up momentum, and he’s unstoppable. Even then though, it’s never about Bishop Curry or his ego. Every word is about God’s love in Jesus Christ.