Heart of Compassion
Sermon by Rev. Shawn Newton.
I was in Grade Six when I first heard excerpts from Bach’s stirring St. Matthew Passion. I’m embarrassed to admit, though, that what I most remember today about the experience was my confusion. At the time, I apparently knew only one of the many meanings of the word “passion.” While I understood Bach’s oratorio was about the suffering and death of Jesus, I struggled to square all of that horror with my narrow sense of passion as romantic desire. Only later did I finally come to comprehend that another of passion’s definitions is suffering.
This week, as we explore different facets of February’s theme of passion, we take up the common condition of human suffering—and with it, the invitation to live lives of compassion, meaning to “suffer with.” My sermon will consider how “suffering with” helps to alleviate suffering, be it our own or that of others.
It will also be my great joy on Sunday to lead the congregation in the Dedication of Charlotte Hannah Martin-Johnston, the newborn daughter of Chad Martin and Eleanor Johnston. Chad, a composer, has written for Charlotte a special piece called “Cradle Song” to be sung by our resident musicians.
In faith and love,