We are a small Episcopal Church on the banks of the Rappahannock in Port Royal, Virginia. We acknowledge that we gather on the traditional land of the first people of Port Royal, the Nandtaughtacund, who are still here, and we honor with gratitude the land itself and the life of the Rappahannock Tribe. Our mission statement is to do God’s Will in all that we do.

So What Does Michael Curry mean by the “Way of Love”?

From the book Love is the Way by Michael Curry

“In the original language of the New Testament, the word walk means to conduct one’s daily life. Walking in love is about moments in the day—the frustrating moments, the inconvenient moments, the demanding moments, the discouraging moments, and how we can learn to love others better in these moments.”

“Unselfish, sacrificial, unconditional, and liberating love—is the way, frankly the only way, to realize God’s dream of the beloved community, on earth as it is in heaven. It’s the only thing that can, and that ever will, make the world a better place.”

Love is a firm commitment to act for the well-being of someone other than yourself. It can be personal or political, individual or communal, intimate or public. Love will not be segregated to the private, personal precincts of life. Love, as I read it in the Bible, is ubiquitous. It affects all aspects of life.”

“Love is a commitment to seek the good and to work for the good and welfare of others. It doesn’t stop at our front door or our neighborhood, our religion or race, or our state’s or your country’s border

The answer is love. Love isn’t a sentiment—it’s the only thing left to save a community divided.”

“Dr. Martin Luther King—who, besides my father and grandmother, is the human most responsible for my wearing the collar today—wisely said, “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.

“God so loved the world that he “gave.” God gave. God did not take. God gave. That’s agape. That’s love. And love such as that is the way to the heart of God, the heart of each other. It is the way to a new world that looks something more like God’s dream for us and all creation”

Nothing short of faith, in spite of the odds, can stay the course. Faith dares us to believe that in the end, love wins. We can’t see it, but we believe it anyway”

“Then hope comes along, and puts wind in our sails of faith. Hope is the energy that keeps us going when the gravity of reality would otherwise defeat us. It was Dante who pictured the words “Abandon hope all who enter here” over the gates of hell. Without hope, life become mere existence and survival. But with hope, you can “march through hell for a heavenly cause” if you have to. But while faith and hope are necessary for a full life, they’re not a guide for life. They don’t tell you what to do. That’s love’s job. Love tells you how to direct the energy of outrageous faith. If hope and faith are the wind and sails, love is the rudder. It’s God’s GPS

“And that’s what St. Paul was getting at. That’s what love is about. Where selfishness excludes, love makes room and includes. Where selfishness puts down, love lifts up. Where selfishness hurts and harms, love helps and heals. Where selfishness enslaves, love sets free and liberates. The way of love will show us the right thing to do, every single time”

“God may be the source of love, but people are often the vessels. Once you understand that, you also start to understand that connecting to the Holy Spirit isn’t about what we say in our house of worship on a Sunday. It’s not even whether we’re in church on a Sunday. It’s the community of love we create for ourselves and for others. When that happens, God’s there. That’s God showing up. We’re resting in God’s hands.”

In the New Testament there is a passage in which the Apostle Paul reflects on living the logic of love. It begins with the words “Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good.” Then it concludes with, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

“Prayer matters because when God is brought into the equation of life, something changes. Another possibility emerges.”

From the book The Power of Love: Sermons, reflections, and wisdom to uplift and inspire by Michael Curry

Sermons – The Power of Love | The Royal Wedding

“The New Testament says it this way: “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; and those who love are born of God and know God. Those who do not love do not know God. Why? For God is love.” (1 JOHN 4:7–8)”

“This way of love, it is the way of life. They got it. He died to save us all. He didn’t die for anything he could get out of it. Jesus did not get an honorary doctorate for dying.”

“That’s what love is. Love is not selfish and self-centered. Love can be sacrificial, and in so doing, becomes redemptive. And that way of unselfish, sacrificial, redemptive love changes lives, and it can change this world.”

“If you don’t believe me, just stop and imagine. Think and imagine a world where love is the way. Imagine our homes and families where love is the way. Imagine neighborhoods and communities where love is the way. Imagine governments and nations where love is the way. Imagine business and commerce where love is the way. Imagine this tired, old world where love is the way. When love is the way—unselfish, sacrificial, redemptive love—then no child will go to bed hungry in this world ever again. When love is the way, we will let justice roll down like a mighty stream and righteousness like an ever-flowing brook. When love is the way, poverty will become history. When love is the way, the earth will be a sanctuary. When love is the way, we will lay down our swords and shields, down by the riverside, to study war no more. When love is the way, there’s plenty good room—plenty good room—for all of God’s children. Because when love is the way, we treat each other, well . . . like we are actually family. When love is the way, we know that God is the source of us all, and we are brothers and sisters, children of God. My brothers and sisters, that’s a new heaven, a new earth, a new world, a new human family.”

“Then he went on to say that if humanity ever harnesses the energy of love, it will be the second time in history that we have discovered fire.”

Sermons – Living the Way of Love | Opening Eucharist of the 79th General Convention of the Episcopal Church

“At the Last Supper he says, “A new commandment I give you.” Not a new option, he said, but “a new commandment I give you: that you love one another.” At the Last Supper, he showed them what love looked like by taking a towel and washing the feet of his disciples. At the Last Supper, he says, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now abide in my love.” When he knew their world would fall apart, when he knew uncertainty and ambiguity was in the air, when he knew that even he did not know for sure what lay ahead, and all he could do was trust the Father.”

“Allow me, if you will, to reflect on that, the Jesus Movement text, by using another text, later in John 15. There we see another story that may illuminate what Jesus was getting at here. We may ask, “How’s that, Lord? How do we abide in you and live as branches from you, the vine?” This is his answer: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, that you love one another.””

“Love is the way. Love is the only way. Those who follow in my way follow in the way of unconditional, unselfish, sacrificial love, and that kind of love can change the world.”

“on this Jesus, on his teachings, on his spirit. Abide with him, dwell with him, live in him. And when you live in him, guess what? He will start living in you.”

“Bonhoeffer notices Jesus giving these teachings about how to live a life of love. He says, if you approach them as mechanical, legalistic things, you’ll stumble. The key is not to turn the teachings of Jesus into a new law. The key, he says, is to throw yourself into the arms of God. Throw yourself into the hands of Jesus. And then, you might actually learn to love an enemy. Then you might pray for those who curse you. Then you know what it means to be blessed. The poor. The poor in spirit. That’s what makes them compassionate. That’s what makes them hunger for God’s justice…”

“Jesus said in Matthew’s gospel, “The scribe who is fit for the Kingdom goes into their treasure box and pulls out something old that becomes something new.” (MATTHEW 13:52) And we realized that we already have what we need in the tradition of the church going back centuries. For centuries monastic communities and religious communities and people who have gone deeper in this faith have lived by what they often call a rule of life: a set of spiritual practices that they make a commitment to live in, practices that help them open up the soul, open up the spirit, help them find their way, a way of throwing yourself into the arms of God.”

“As part of their training for nonviolent protest, Dr. King composed a set of practices, a kind of rule of life. And here’s part of what it said: Remember, the nonviolent movement seeks justice and reconciliation, not just victory. Remember, always walk and talk in a manner of love, for God is love. Remember, pray daily to be used by God. Remember, sacrifice personal wishes so that all might be free. Remember, observe with friend and foe alike, the ordinary, normal rules of courtesy. Remember, perform services for others and for the world. Remember, refrain from violence of the fist and violence of the spirit. Remember, strive to be in good bodily and spiritual health.”

Sermons – The Good Life | Episcopal Revival at the General Convention of the Episcopal Church

“The opposite of love is selfishness, and hatred is a derivative of selfishness.”

“You see, selfishness or self-centeredness or, as the ancient mothers and fathers used to say, hubris (that is, false pride, self-centered pride that puts me in the center of the world, and you and God and everybody else on the periphery) . . . selfishness like that is the root of all evil. It is the source of every wrong. It is behind every bigotry. It is behind every injustice. It is the root cancer of every war. It is the source of every destruction. That selfishness destroys homes. It will destroy churches. It will destroy nations. And left untethered, it will destroy creation. Selfishness.”

“There’s another word for selfishness. Believe it or not, it’s called sin. That’s why we have Lent, a season to deal with sin. But love is the cure.”

“And love is the cure. Love is the balm in Gilead. Love will heal the sin- sick soul. Love can lift us up when the gravity of selfishness will pull us down. Love can bind us together when selfishness will tear us apart.”

“He says, “Simon, son of John, do you love me? If you love me, you will overcome your self-centeredness, and another will take you by the hand, and may lead you to where you do not want to go. But it won’t be all about you anymore. It will be about following me.” And then Jesus said, “Now you can follow me.” The key to following Jesus, the key to being his disciples, the key to life is love. It’s always love.”

“The way to life is the way of love.”

Sermons – Love Your Neighbor | Service of Prayer, Witness, and Justice

“We come to lift everybody up. We come in love. We come in love because we follow Jesus. And Jesus taught us love. Love the Lord your God. And love your neighbor.”

“We come in love. I would submit that the teaching of Jesus to love God and love our neighbor is at the core and the heart of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ.”

“That is the core of our faith. That is the heart of it. And we come, because we are Christian and the way of love calls for us to be humanitarian. It calls for us to care for those who have no one to care for them.”

“Let us make America great again, by making America good, by making America kind, by making America just, by making America loving. Let us make America great again.”

Sermons – Welcome to the Movement | Washington National Cathedral, Washington, D.C.

“God has not given up on the world, and God is not finished with the Episcopal Church yet. We are the Jesus Movement. So don’t worry, be happy!”

“…the reason the movement was turning the world upside down was because members of the movement gave their loyalty to someone named Jesus and committed themselves to living and witnessing to his way above all else. “They are all acting contrary to the decrees of the emperor, saying that there is another king named Jesus.” That’s what we did at the beginning of this service when, in the Baptismal Covenant, we reaffirmed our commitment to be disciples, living by and witnessing to the way of Jesus, our Savior and Lord.”

“The way of Jesus will always turn our worlds and the world upside down, which is really turning it right-side up. The way of Jesus is about the transfiguration of the nightmare of our world in its current state into what the late Verna J. Dozier called “The Dream of God.””

“Saint John saw in his vision of the world’s end in the Book of Revelation. Exiled and imprisoned for his witness to the way of Jesus, John was caught up “in the Spirit on the Lord’s day” (REVELATION 1:10). He lifted up his head, and he saw the dream”

“No more war. No more suffering. No more injustice. No more bigotry. No more violence. No more hatred. Every man and woman under their own vine or fig tree. The rule of love. The way of God. The kingdom. The reign. The great Shalom, Salaam of God. The dream. God is on a mission to work through “our struggle and confusion,” as the Prayer Book says, to realize God’s dream. My brothers and sisters, God has not given up on the world, and God is not finished with the Episcopal Church yet. We are the Jesus Movement. So don’t worry, be happy!”

“The way of Jesus will always turn our lives and the world upside down, but we know that that’s really right-side up.”

“As it says in our Book of Common Prayer, “Things which were cast down are being raised up. And things which had grown old are being made new.” That will turn things upside down, which is really right-side up. That’s what Jesus said and what the Jesus Movement is about.”

“But the key to this turning, which is at the center of the Way of Jesus, is love. The liberating love of God is the key to the Way of Jesus.”

“Last summer, the 78th General Convention of our Church did a remarkable thing: we made a commitment to live into being the Jesus Movement by committing to evangelism and the work of reconciliation—beginning with racial reconciliation. I was telling someone about this, and they said, “Do you realize this Church has taken on two of the most difficult and important works it could ever embrace?”

“I’m talking about a way of evangelism that is genuine and authentic to us as Episcopalians, not a way that imitates or judges anyone else. A way of evangelism that is really about sharing good news. A way of evangelism that is deeply grounded in the love of God that we’ve learned from Jesus. A way of evangelism that is as much about listening and learning from the story of who God is in another person’s life as it is about sharing our own story. A way of evangelism that is really about helping others find their way to a relationship with God without our trying to control the outcome. A way of evangelism that’s authentic to us. We can do that.”

“And this idea of reconciliation, beginning with racial reconciliation— really? Racial reconciliation is just the beginning for the hard and holy work of real reconciliation that seeks justice across all the borders and boundaries that divide the human family of God.”

“The man would later say that it was that reconciling experience of Christ in the sacrament of the Eucharist that brought him into the Episcopal Church. “Any Church in which people of different races drink out of the same cup knows something about the gospel that I want to be a part of.” That couple later married and gave birth to two children, both of whom are here today, and one of whom is the twenty-seventh Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church.”