Love trumps all

A royal wedding with a smashing sermon is not your everyday fare. That smashing sermon was still what the entire world got served last Saturday.

MANDAKT | | Victor Skimmeland | 2nd Day of Pentecost, May 21st, 2018


I am not a friend of royal flair. Not particularly. Even a chat with Harry’s mom while she was still carrying in 1984 did not remove my republican leanings.

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Harry’s Mom

I got to speak with Harry’s mom in the spring of 1984. Yes, he’s the one who got married last Saturday to the sparkling Meghan Markle. Because my mother-in-law tends to bring this up whenever we gather as a family, you might as well get the story firsthand from me.

I was parked, more or less, with a rather bashed-up knee and crutches at the Fornebu Airport in Oslo. The rest of my family—well, what was to become family later on—was heading for France for another family wedding. I just happened to join in on the first leg to the airport. With my one good leg.

At the center of the departure hall—remember the days when those were open access?—a large area suddenly was closed off. A red carpet got rolled out and I found myself stuck between the crowd and the cordoned-off area. The two persons who were to become my wife and mi-law were guarding me.

Then, several straight men in military regalia hurried by. Then again, the Crown Prince and Princess of Norway—Harald and Sonja—rushed by. Like, wow.

Finally, the famed lady Di—Princess Diana of Wales, came rambling by. The Princess of Great Britain. Suddenly, she halted on the spot and calmly strolled over towards me. She took my hand, said hi in a very royal manner and took her time to chat me up. She really wanted to know how I had broken my leg. Oh no, so it wasn’t from chasing the girls, was it? He he, politely.

Later on I have managed to figure out that lady Di was actually carrying a very tiny Harry, the younger one. Prince Henry Charles Albert David, or, as I said, Harry, between friends and paparazzi.

Principal Wedding

Last Saturday lady Di’s younger offspring got to stroll down the red carpet himself. Prince Harry got married.

I never heard nor saw him or lady Meghan live because my «mission» last Saturday was so much more important. In my opinion. I went to see a seriously ill friend—one of my new ones—at the Norwegian Cancer Teaching Hospital “Radiumhospitalet” in Oslo. Sick friends, wether old or new, will always trump—triumph—any royal wedding. Every day of the year.

The sermon, however, was smashingly good.

Another friend of mine is the vicar at the parish of Røros and a former travel companion to Israel and Palestine. He tipped me off about the sermon when he published it on his Facebook later that night. Harald Hauge did not use too many words:

«And thus sounded the Gospel.»

Thus sounded the Good News, indeed.

After having read up on the sermon I decided to dump my own sermon for Monday. This stuff was so much better. I’ll share a little piece with you here. This is, arguably, the best news in the world this Pentecost.

The Power of Love

Jesus of Nazareth on one occasion was asked by a lawyer to sum up the essence of the teachings of Moses, and he went back and he reached back into the Hebrew scriptures, to Deuteronomy and Leviticus, and Jesus said: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbour as yourself.”

Hey you, all you good Norwegian atheists out there, that one’s for you. You know who I’m talking about. You, who love to cite the Old Testament and prove to us Christians of late what is really our opinion. This American bishop, Michael Curry, just cited Jesus. And Jesus, well, he just repeated the very same words from these apparently very horrible books of the Old Testament. And what did Jesus read from these books?

«Love your neighbour as yourself.»

The bishop continued to show us how love has the power to change, before he went on to remind all us Pharisees and preachers what the core value of our story is:

“If you cannot preach like Peter,
And you cannot pray like Paul,
You just tell the love of Jesus,
How he died to save us all.”

This way of love, it is the way of life. They [the slaves of Antebellum South] got it! (The Bishop himself has ancestry in the South, so he could in fact say this without having to face the opinion police after the fact.)

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. He didn’t… he wasn’t getting anything out of it. He gave up his life, he sacrificed his life, for the good of others, for the good of the other, for the wellbeing of the world… for us.

That’s what love is. Love is not selfish and self-centred.»

That’s how this Bishop served the Gospel.

It’s one of the better sermons I’ve heard in years. It was from the heart, by the heart and, for the heart.

There you go, then. I dumped my own strenuously prepared sermon in favour of this. This was—is—so much better.



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YES. When Harry met Meghan. Foto: Damir Sagolj/Reuters/NTB Scanpix, with permission.

© 2018 Victor Skimmeland mastered in theology as well as obtaining a bachelor in international studies and an undergraduate degree in finance. He has pastored abroad and domestically for many years and also worked as a teacher and journalist. He currently runs this blog on with friends, mainly in Norwegian but occasionally also in English and Spanish. All rights reserved. No part of these texts may be copied or reprinted for commercial gain. However, the stories are meant to be shared and used but do reference the source. No please. Just do. For all other use please obtain advance permission in writing from the author(s).

3 kommentarer om “Love trumps all”

  1. My good friend Kay English Curtin attempted Google Translate and got the result as shown below. I promised that I would do a proper version. Here is the Google stuff:

    “Mora to Harry

    Early in 1984, I talk to Mother of Prince Harry, who marries Meghan Markle on Saturday. Svigermor occasionally brings up family gatherings, so you may as well get it from me too.

    I stood with broken bones and crutches at Fornebu. The rest of the family, well, what would be family was on their way to France for a wedding. I just went to the airport.

    In the middle of the departure hall, the police suddenly block a large area and roll out a long red runner. I was standing right at the rope. The two who would be my wife and mother-in-law stood next door.

    Then more men in the military galla marched by. Then crown Prince, Harald and Sonja, raised. Wow, lissom.

    Suddenly, a dazzling lady Di Princess Diana of Wales came. By the UK. Then she jerked and moved away to me. She greeted, took the time to chat and learned how to destroy the leg. No, I did not have hot girls, hey. Polite.

    In retrospect, I have managed to figure out that lady Di was a few months on her way to the youngest son. Prince Henry Charles Albert David, or Harry among friends and press.

    Princess wedding

    Saturday was the youngest of lady Di who went on a red runner. Prince Harry is getting married.

    I neither heard nor saw him and lady Meghan live, because my “quest” on Saturday was more important, I thought. I visited a serious crazy friend at Radium Hospital. Sick friends, old as new, trumps kings wedding. Every single day.

    The sermon, on the other hand, was kanonbra.

    Another friend is supreme priest at Røros and former traveling companion to Israel and Palestine. He advised me when he released a link on Facebook later in the evening. Harald Hauge commented on cards:

    “That’s how the gospel sounded.”

    That’s how they sounded the good news.

    After reading the sermon, I decided to dump the MANDAKT I had done. This was so much better. Here you will get a little excerpt. This is by far the most important news this pinse weekend.

    The power of love

    “Jesus of Nazareth was occasionally asked by a lawyer, what the sum of the Mosaic people was. Jesus leaned on the Hebrew Scriptures, both from the third and fifth book, saying, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your understanding.” This is the greatest and first commandment. But the other is as big: ‘You’ll love your neighbor like yourself.’ ”

    Hi, you got it, you happy atheists who always cite fragments from the Old Testament to tell all the people what Christians like me really mean. Here, American bishop Michael Curry Jesus quoted. Jesus reappears the words just from those books in the Old Testament which apparently are so horrible. What did Jesus read from the books?

    “You’ll love your neighbor like yourself.”

    Then talk the bishop about the power of love to change before he reminded all Pharisees and ministers of what the essence of our story is:

    “If you can not preach like Peter,
    If you can not pray like Paul,
    So tell about Jesus’ love,
    About how He died to save all of us. ”

    This is the way of love. This is the way of life. Even [the slaves of the southern states] realized it!

    He died to save all of us. He did not die because he could achieve something to die. Jesus did not receive any honorary doctorate because he died. He did not get … he did not get anything out of it himself. He gave his life, sacrificing life to the best of the world for the benefit of others. For the benefit of us.

    This is what love is. Love is not selfish. Love is not self-absorbed. ”

    That’s how the bishop preached.

    It was one of the best sermons I have heard for many years. It came from the heart, and it spoke to the heart.

    That way, I dumped my own MANDAKT. Here you got something that was better.


  2. And this, my lead in for Kay on Facebook:

    «A royal wedding with a smashing sermon is not your everyday fare. That smashing sermon was still what the entire world got served last Saturday. Now, how come I got to go look after a very sick friend instead?

    #Cancer #Melanoma #MPNE #ForKay

    Now, read up on this pastor’s Monday sermon here.

    (Monday was church day in Norway. MON-DAY, CHURCH-DAY, NOR-WAY. Don’t know about this rhyme but it seems to beat any English pop song these days, so here you go. It’s free.)»

  3. And also, my follow up for all my English speaking friends on Facebook:

    «A republican? Right…

    My American friends will immediately read their own understanding into it.

    My Irish friends will also get the idea. Sort of.

    My English friends will just have to forgive me.

    And… reality? I just want my king to be elected, not inherited. That’s a fair king to me. Free choice, freedom of religion.»

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