Patterico's Pontifications


Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 90

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music — Patterico @ 8:37 am

It is the second Sunday of Advent. Today’s Bach cantata is “Es reißet euch ein schrecklich Ende” (A horrible end will carry you off):

Today’s Gospel reading is Matthew 3:1-12:

John the Baptist Prepares the Way

In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:

“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.’”

John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

The text of today’s piece is available here. It contains these words:

A horrible end
will carry you off, you sinful scoffers.
The measure of your sins is fully told,
yet your minds, completely hardened,
have totally forgotten your Judge.

The goodness of the Highest is renewed from day to
but ingratitude continually commits sin against grace.
O, what a confused and evil failing,
that leads you to your damnation.
Alas! Is your heart not stirred?
Does God’s goodness not
lead you to true repentance?
His faithful heart is manifest
in innumerable good deeds:
soon He has the temple rebuilt,
soon the meadows are prepared
upon which the manna of His word will fall,
which will sustain you.
However, O! wickedness of this life,
these good deeds are wasted on you.

. . . .

Lead us with Your right hand
and bless our city and land;
give us Your holy word always,
guard against the devil’s deceit and harm;
grant a blessed little hour to us,
in which we shall be eternally with You!

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

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