Patterico's Pontifications

11/15/2020

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 14

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music — Patterico @ 10:02 am



It is the twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost. The title of today’s Bach cantata is “Wär Gott nicht mit uns diese Zeit” (Were God not with us at this time):

Today’s Gospel reading is Matthew 25:14-30, the parable of the bags of gold (or the parable of the “talents”):

“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

“After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

“The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

“Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’

“His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

“‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’”

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

Were God not with us at this time,
— so Israel shall say —
Were God not with us at this time,
we would surely have despaired,
such a poor flock as we are,
scorned by so much of mankind,
that all set themselves against us.

. . . .

God, under Your strong protection
we are safe from our enemies.
When they, like wild waves,
confront us out of fury,
Your hands are with us.

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.


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