For sacramental and liturgical churches around the world, this week is The Passion Week, also referred to as Holy Week. The post today is an audio excerpt from Chapter 15 of The On-Purpose Person, pages 106-107. We join in the conversation between the man and the minister as they discuss the root meaning of passion.
Have a Happy Easter!
Click the image below to listen.
The minister removed a dictionary, handed it to the man, and asked him to read the first two definitions of passion:
“1a: the sufferings of Christ between the night of the Last Supper and his death. 2 obs. SUFFERING . . .”
The pastor said, “In ordinary speech and writing, the word passion no longer means suffering per se, but you’ll note that the second and root meaning, although obsolete, is exactly that: suffering.”
“Passion means suffering?” exclaimed the man. “That never occurred to me.”
John explained, “Passion is a fascinating word because it implies both suffering and joy. Passion and purpose are inextricably entwined. You can’t genuinely get one without the other. Like a sword that cuts both ways. Here’s the hard reality of being on-purpose—suffering is part of the deal. There’s a price to pay, just as there is a cost to being off-purpose. But they’re different.”
“I never thought about it. Tell me more, John,” invited the man.
“I’ll illustrate with the life of Jesus at the time of the Passion the first definition you passed over. Jesus is the true On-Purpose Person. He was willing to die for his purpose. His vision was eternal salvation for all who believed. His missions were to teach his disciples, to proclaim truth, and to go to the cross. In his Passion, he suffered betrayal, denial by his friends, humiliation, beatings, spitting, disappointment, torture, crucifixion, and ultimately a slow, bloody, and painful death. Jesus’ life and teachings—as recorded in the Bible and in the historic records of that day—are an excellent study about purpose and passion. I refer you to the New Testament, in the book of Matthew, chapters 26–28. Read this because you’ll learn that in Jesus’ crucifixion there is also the other side of passion—the resurrection, the joy of going from the darkness into the light by passing through the pain of the cross.”
The man said, “Thank you. I’ll read it. I had no clue that passion meant all this.”
John concurred, “Most people don’t.”