Sermon by Rev. Shawn Newton.
Though Valentine’s is often thought of as a day to celebrate romantic love, our congregation has happily turned it into a day to celebrate all kinds of love. This Sunday’s service will involve a marvelous mix of moving music and powerful poems that speak to the love found in many different types of relationships. The poetry will range from Wislawa Szymborska and Pablo Neruda to Warsan Shire and Mary Oliver. And the music, and there will be lots of it, will be presented by our fabulous team of Resident Musicians, who have been asked to share some of their favourite songs on the topic of love. I look forward to basking with you in the splendour of love’s many forms.
Here’s a Valentine, to tide you over until Sunday—“Guidelines” by Rhina Espaillat:
Here’s what you need to do, since time began:
find something—diamond-rare or carbon-cheap,
it’s all the same—and love it all you can.
It should be something close—a field, a man,
a line of verse, a mouth, a child asleep—
that feels like the world’s heart since time began.
Don’t measure much or lay things out or scan;
don’t save yourself for later, you won’t keep;
spend yourself now on loving all you can.
It’s going to hurt. That was the risk you ran
with your first breath; you knew the price was steep,
that loss is what there is, since time began
subtracting from your balance. That’s the plan,
too late to quibble now, you’re in too deep.
Just love what you still have, while you still can.
Don’t count on schemes, it’s far too short a span
from the first sowing till they come to reap.
One way alone to count, since time began:
love something, love it hard, now, while you can.
In faith and love,
Danny Fong singing A Perfect Pair