The Jury Talks Back


Sunday Music: Bach Motet BWV 226

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 12:01 am

It is the Day of Pentecost. The title of today’s Bach piece, a motet, is “Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf” (The Spirit gives aid to our weakness).

Today’s Gospel reading is John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15:

The Work of the Holy Spirit

“When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.

. . . .

I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them. I did not tell you this from the beginning because I was with you, but now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things. But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because people do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.

“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

The text of today’s piece is available here. Here are all the words, which celebrate the Holy Spirit:

1. Chorus

The Spirit gives aid to our weakness. For we do not know for what we should pray, what is proper; but the Spirit itself intercedes for us in the best way with unutterable sighs. He, however, who examines hearts, He knows what the Spirit’s intention is, since it intercedes for the saints according to that which pleases God.

2. Chorale

You holy fire, sweet comfort,
now help us joyfully and confidently
to remain constantly in Your service,
although trouble is not driven away from us!
O Lord, through Your strength prepare us
and sharpen the dullness of the flesh,
so that we might battle here nobly,
pressing to you through death and life.
Hallelujah, hallelujah!

The beginning of the chorale contains words from Martin Luther’s Pentecostal hymn “Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord.”

Happy listening!


  1. Thank yoy, Patterico.

    Comment by DRJ — 5/20/2018 @ 6:03 am

  2. Our Gospel was John 20:19-23, so my church is in Year A and yours is in Year B. The messages are similar, obviously, but I never took the time to track down the difference until today.

    Comment by DRJ — 5/20/2018 @ 8:49 am

  3. How strange. The Revised Common Lectionary is in Year B, and that is indeed what my church follows. I didn’t realize any churches were in Year A.

    Comment by Patterico — 5/20/2018 @ 8:55 am

  4. I could suggest BWV 34 for your passage, but I’m going to stick with the Revised Common Lectionary for my posts.

    I’ll have to look into why any churches would be in Year A. Haven’t you said in the past that your Gospel readings were at least sometimes the same as the ones I discuss here?

    Comment by Patterico — 5/20/2018 @ 8:57 am

  5. Personal issues have kept me away from my church for the past several weeks. I get to return today. These posts are one of the main ways I have stayed in touch with the message of the church while being prevented from attending.

    Comment by Patterico — 5/20/2018 @ 9:01 am

  6. I go to a different church every other week because one has a morning service and the other has an evening service. The message is similar each week and I never realized until today they were on different schedules.

    Comment by DRJ — 5/20/2018 @ 10:53 am

  7. I hope you are ok. It’s been a rough year for us but things were better this week.

    Comment by DRJ — 5/20/2018 @ 10:56 am

  8. They didn’t even read the Gospel this morning! It was in our handout and a sermon was given but the passage was not read. It was Confirmation Day and maybe they wanted to spend the time on that but that was a first for me.

    Comment by Patterico — 5/20/2018 @ 12:46 pm

  9. That is strange since Pentecost is an important day. Was the Bishop there? Often confirmations are scheduled when a bishop can be present, and his/her schedule is usually crowded.

    Comment by DRJ — 5/20/2018 @ 6:03 pm

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