79th General Convention of The Episcopal Church: July 5 sermon by Presiding Bishop Michael Curry[July 5, 2018] And now in the name of our loving, liberating and life-giving God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
Well good morning Episcopal Church! We are here! We are here! We are here!
I think it was Secretary Barlowe at one of the introductory sessions a few months ago, orientation sessions a few months ago, who said that the theme of the City of Austin was “Keep Austin Weird,” and he said that he had full confidence that we would be able to accomplish that. It is so good, it is so good to be here.
Allow me, if you will, to offer a reflection on the words of Jesus that you just heard from the 15th chapter of John’s gospel, which happened to be at the Last Supper in John’s gospel, at the Last Supper, not long before Jesus would show what love looks like, giving of the self, even sacrificing the self for the good and well-being of others.
At the Last Supper he says, “A new commandment I give you,” not a new option, a new commandment I give you that you love one another. At the Last Supper when he showed them what it looked like by taking a towel and washing the feet of his disciples. At the Last Supper, “as the Father has loved me”, he says, “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 he did not know for sure, or precisely, what lay ahead, and all he could do was trust the Father, and leave it to the Father’s hands through the hands of an empire. And it is then that he said to them what he may be saying to us, “I am the vine, you are the branches.” I don’t know if you heard it, but “I am the vine, you are the branches.” Have you heard it, “I am the vine you are the branches?” Do you hear him whisper, Episcopal branch, of the Jesus Movement? “I am the vine, you are the branches. Abide in me and I in you, for apart from me,” check this one out, “apart from me you can do nothing. But abide in me and you will bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples.”