Monday, May 21, 2018

Wedding Sermons - a Pondering

Much has been said about Bishop Michael Curry's sermon at Saturday's wedding of those we now know as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. If you haven't heard it yet listen here. But I recommend reading the text here and then listening to the delivery second.

Afterwards there was an outbreak of corporate shock. One tweet summarises the response. Ed Miliband (@Ed_Miliband) said this: 'Rev Michael Curry could almost make me a believer'. A man from a Jewish family background but currently operating as a person of no faith, acknowledges, OK tongue-in-cheek,  that passion gets your argument quite a long way.

I think we are at an interesting hinge-point in our nation's history. If you check the sermon text you will find nothing very surprising. There were no references that may not have been used by many other clergy preaching at weddings that day. I've used some of them myself.

What was surprising was the passion, the energy, the vehemence of the delivery style.

If occurs to me that people are fed up of cerebral leadership. They don't want to hear what is right, rigorously argued; they want to hear someone lead them with power, charisma and drive.

Now this can go two ways. A people crying out for dynamic, strong, passionate, emotional, charismatic leadership might get a Nelson and might get an Adolph. They sure got a Donald.

The day to day of small-scale and large-scale political life is detailed, complex and can be mind-numbingly dull. We need people who can do the dull and yet can also passionately envision.

Passion did Brexit. It is hard to argue for the status quo (however good it is) passionately. We need to watch out for where passion takes us next.

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