August 19, 2017

9th Sunday after Trinity: Pic & Cantata of the Week

(Click on picture for larger image) • • • “Bach Cantata BWV 105 is one of his gigantic masterpieces” (Craig Smith). It is also a work that vividly describes the experience of Anfechtungen that was so much a part of Martin Luther’s spiritual experience. Dr. Chris Armstrong described an Anfechtung, a sharp sense of spiritual abandonment and despair Luther often […]

8th Sunday after Trinity: Pic & Cantata of the Week

(Click on picture for larger image) • • • Today, we hear Bach’s inspiring setting of one of the greatest texts in the Hebrew Bible, the opening chorus from Cantata BWV 45, “Es ist dir gesagt, Mensch, was gut ist” It has been told to you, mankind, what is good and what the Lord expects […]

7th Sunday after Trinity: Pic & Cantata of the Week

(Click on picture for larger image) • • • One of Bach’s cantatas for Trinity 7, Cantata BWV 187 — “Es wartet alles auf dish” (These all wait upon Thee) — is a celebration of God’s loving care for creation. Making use of texts from the Psalms and the Gospel of Matthew, this work, which one commentator called […]

6th Sunday after Trinity: Pic & Cantata of the Week

(Click on picture for larger image) • • • Today we feature Bach’s quintessential “Lutheran” cantata, “Es ist das Heil uns kommen her,” (Salvation has come to us, BWV 9). The gossamer sound of the opening movement disguises the fact that this cantata is the locus classicus of Lutheran fervor in all of Bach’s work, […]

5th Sunday after Trinity: Pic & Cantata of the Week

(Click on picture for larger image) • • • Today, we present an aria from one of Bach’s cantatas for Trinity 5: “Siehe, ich will viel Fischer aussenden” (Behold I will send out many fishers, BWV 88). Schweitzer captures the setting of this aria: “”In the 1st mvt Bach sees before him the Lake of Gennesareth, on […]

4th Sunday after Trinity: Sermon and Cantata of the Week

Today, I am preaching at our first church, in East Dover, Vermont. For today’s Sunday post, I include the text of my message along with a fitting and delightful aria from Bach’s cantata, “Merciful Heart of Eternal Love” (BWV 185). • • • SERMON: Friends in the Gospel (Philippians 1:1-11) Thirty-nine years ago, I was […]

3rd Sunday after Trinity: Cantata & Pic of the Week

(Click on picture for larger image) • • • I’m deeply thrilled about our choice of worship music today. We present three movements from, perhaps, J.S. Bach’s greatest cantata: BWV 21, “Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis” (My heart was deeply troubled). Craig Smith describes this magnificent work and gives its background: Several years into his tenure […]

2nd Sunday after Trinity: Cantata & Pic of the Week

(Click on picture for larger image) • • • Internet Monk has often noted the absence of lament in much of American church culture. Today, we present an example of a Bach chorus of lament from his cantata “Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein” (O God, Look Down from Heaven). It seems, when lamenting, we humans are wont to […]

1st Sunday after Trinity: Cantata & Pic of the Week

(Click on picture for larger image) About Today’s Picture This statue of an African-American woman and her child, is part of the Black Brigade Monument in Smale Park on the riverfront in Cincinnati. It honors the courageous and city-saving contributions of a group of African-Americans who defended Cincinnati from Confederate forces in 1862. Here is a marvelous […]

Trinity Sunday: Pic & Cantata of the Week

(Click on picture for larger image) • • • Bach’s cantata BWV 194, Höchsterwünschtes Freudenfest (O greatly longed-for feast of joy), written to mark the dedication of a new organ in Leipzig on November 2, 1723, is a forty minute long piece in two parts. It is one of Bach’s largest cantatas, and sounds like […]