The Jury Talks Back


Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 21, Part 2

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 12:01 am

It is the eleventh Sunday after Pentecost. The title of today’s Bach cantata is “Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis” (I had much grief).

This cantata provided the music for both last week and today, with Part 1 heard last week, and the conclusion heard today. Last week’s suffering gives way to today’s hymn of praise.

Today’s Gospel reading is John 6:24-35.

Once the crowd realized that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum in search of Jesus.

Jesus the Bread of Life

When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”

Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”

Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”

Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

“Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

The text of today’s piece is available here. The words complement the Gospel’s message: that Jesus himself will provide, and indeed will be, the bread of life. The cantata’s words are wonderfully evocative of a movement from suffering into joy. The crown of battle becomes sweet refreshment. God is a source of comfort who causes troubles to disappear, and changes weeping into pure wine:

Ah, Jesus, my peace,
my light, where are You?
– O soul behold! I am with you. –

. . . .

– The hour approaches already,
when your crown of battle
will become a sweet refreshment. –

. . . .

Rejoice, soul, rejoice, heart,
fade now, troubles, disappear, pains!
Change, weeping, into pure wine,
my aching now becomes a celebration for me!
Burning and flaming is the purest candle
of love and of comfort in my soul and breast,
since Jesus comforts me with heavenly delight.

We close this great cantata with the hymn of praise at 35:19:

The Lamb, that was slain, is worthy to receive power, and riches, and wisdom and strength, and honor and glory and praise.
Praise and honor and glory and power be to our God for ever and ever. Amen, Alleluia!

Happy listening!


  1. These posts add a new dimension to my appreciation of the Gospel.

    Comment by DRJ — 8/5/2018 @ 9:16 am

  2. Off topic but this is near to my heart. Here we go again:

    Adams is currently charged with third-degree assault after the child suffered multiple broken bones and fractures. He told investigators he pushed the boy at the park on Tuesday because the line was taking too long.

    Apple Valley Police Capt. Nick Francis said Adams has developmental disabilities, which could be taken into account as the case moves through the courts system.

    Police say a PCA (or aide) was with Adams at the water park but that aide was not standing side-by-side with him on the waterslide platform. The PCA was elsewhere in the park at the time of the incident, according to police.

    “It’s difficult when we have to view someone as a possible suspect that’s got some mental disabilities,” Francis said. “But our job comes down to determining whether or not a crime took place, whether or not someone knew right from wrong.”

    Police said it appeared Adams did in fact know right from wrong in this situation.

    Jessica Enneking, who specializes in adult mental health at the nonprofit Fraser, said the incident was extremely unfortunate but not typical behavior for a person with a developmental disability. She cautioned the public not to make assumptions based on the case.

    “This is not something you would expect to see. It’s very unfortunate, very sad for both parties involved,” Enneking said, “(but) individuals with developmental disabilities are no more likely to commit any kind of crime than the general public.”

    Some professionals don’t use the “autism” label anymore, preferring the term “developmental disabilities” or other terms.

    As for expecting violence from autistics and other developmentally disabled persons, maybe Enneking is right. But is that because they aren’t violent or because they are usually supervised? Without supervision, especially as they get older, aren’t incidents like this (or worse) more likely?

    Comment by DRJ — 8/6/2018 @ 9:07 am

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