[ACNS] The new Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church in America, the Most Revd Michael Curry, has used a video message to encourage church members to go into the world, telling them to be “agents and instruments of God’s reconciliation.”
He says: “God came among us in the person of Jesus of Nazareth to show us the Way. He came to show us the Way to life, the Way to love. He came to show us the Way beyond what often can be the nightmares of our own devisings and into the dream of God’s intending.
“That’s why, when Jesus called his first followers he did it with the simple words ‘Follow me.’
“‘Follow me,’ he said, ‘and I will make you fish for people.’
“Follow me and love will show you how to become more than you ever dreamed you could be. Follow me and I will help you change the world from the nightmare it often is into the dream that God intends. Jesus came and started a movement and we are the Episcopal branch of the Jesus movement.”
Presiding Bishop Curry cited the passage towards the end of Matthew’s Gospel where an angel tells Mary Magdalene and other women at the empty tomb that “This Jesus of Nazareth whom you seek, he is not here, he has been raised as he said he would be and he has now gone ahead of you to Galilee. There you will see him. It is in Galilee that the Risen Lord will be found and seen for he has gone ahead of us.”
And he said that “Galilee” was “a way of talking about the world”, and that Galilee was in the streets of the city, in rural communities, in hospitals and office places: “In Galilee you will meet the living Christ for He has already gone ahead of you.”
And he urged the church to go beyond the walls and not to wait for people to come to them: “Now is our time to go,” he said. “To go into the world to share the good news of God and Jesus Christ. To go into the world and help to be agents and instruments of God’s reconciliation. To go into the world, let the world know that there is a God who loves us, a God who will not let us go, and that that love can set us all free.”
The video, which was filmed on the streets of New York and in the city’s Cathedral Church of St John the Divine, was the first public message from the new Presiding Bishop since his installation last Sunday.