Patterico's Pontifications

10/28/2018

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 23

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:01 am

It is the twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost. The title of today’s Bach cantata is “Du wahrer Gott und Davids Sohn” (You true God and Son of David)

Today’s Gospel reading is Mark 10:46-52:

Blind Bartimaeus Receives His Sight

Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”

So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.

“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.

The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”

“Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.

The text of today’s piece is available here. Today’s cantata directly tells the story of Jesus restoring the sight of Bartimaeus, as related in today’s Gospel reading, beginning with his cry to the Lord for the “Son of David” to “have mercy on me”:

You true God and Son of David,
who already from distant eternity
have looked upon my heartache
and the pain of my body, have mercy on me!
And grant through Your wondrous hand,
that has turned aside so much evil,
that aid and comfort occur for me as well.

In the penultimate chorus, the cantata directly references Bartimaeus’s request that his sight be restored:

All eyes wait, Lord,
O all-powerful God, for You,
especially my own.
Give them strength and light,
do not leave them
for ever in the darkness!

It is a wonderful musical accompaniment to today’s message.

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

2 Responses to “Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 23”

  1. For those who’d like to follow along, here’s the complete German original:

    Du wahrer Gott und Davids Sohn,
    Der du von Ewigkeit in der Entfernung schon
    Mein Herzeleid und meine Leibespein
    Umständlich angesehn, erbarm dich mein!
    Und laß durch deine Wunderhand,
    Die so viel Böses abgewandt,
    Mir gleichfalls Hilf und Trost geschehen.

    Ach! gehe nicht vorüber;
    Du, aller Menschen Heil,
    Bist ja erschienen,
    Die Kranken und nicht die Gesunden zu bedienen.
    Drum nehm ich ebenfalls an deiner Allmacht teil;
    Ich sehe dich auf diesen Wegen,
    Worauf man
    Mich hat wollen legen,
    Auch in der Blindheit an.
    Ich fasse mich
    Und lasse dich
    Nicht ohne deinen Segen.

    Then follows a German-language Agnus Dei:

    Christe, du Lamm Gottes,
    Der du trägst die Sünd der Welt,
    Erbarm dich unser!
    Christe, du Lamm Gottes,
    Der du trägst die Sünd der Welt,
    Erbarm dich unser!
    Christe, du Lamm Gottes,
    Der du trägst die Sünd der Welt,
    Gib uns dein’ Frieden. Amen.

    Here is the penultimate section Patterico gives above:

    Aller Augen warten, Herr,
    Du allmächtger Gott, auf dich,
    Und die meinen sonderlich.
    Gib denselben Kraft und Licht,
    Laß sie nicht
    Immerdar in Finsternissen!
    Künftig soll dein Wink allein
    Der geliebte Mittelpunkt
    Aller ihrer Werke sein,
    Bis du sie einst durch den Tod
    Wiederum gedenkst zu schließen.

    The cantata concludes with a second Agnus Dei.

    Thanks from Saudi Arabia . . .

    Golden Eagle (5aa9e6)

  2. Thank you for the thoughts that led to this piece being chosen on this day. All to many of us have become blind by choice.

    John B Boddie (ebf63f)

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