Patterico's Pontifications


Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 181

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music — Patterico @ 11:22 am

It is the fourth Sunday after Epiphany. Today’s Bach cantata is “Leichtgesinnte Flattergeister” (Light-minded frivolous spirits).

Today’s Gospel reading is Luke 4:21-30:

He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked.

Jesus said to them, “Surely you will quote this proverb to me: ‘Physician, heal yourself!’ And you will tell me, ‘Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.’”

“Truly I tell you,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown. I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian.”

All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff. But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.

The text of today’s piece is available here. It contains these words, criticizing the insincere and hardhearted:

Light-minded frivolous spirits
rob themselves of the Word’s power.
Belial with his offspring
seeks nevertheless to obstruct it,
so that it is of no use.

. . . .

O unfortunate condition of deluded souls,
who are, just as we, on the way;
and who yet can tell of Satan’s trickery,
as he steals the Word out of hearts,
which, blind in understanding,
neither perceive nor believe the harm?
They become hearts of stone,
so wickedly contrary,
that they scoff at their own salvation
and eventually are brought down.
Indeed Christ’s last word had such force,
that rocks themselves split open;
the angel’s hand moved the grave stone,
yes, and Moses’ staff can there
bring forth water from a cliff.
Will you, o heart, be yet harder?

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

2 Responses to “Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 181”

  1. Sorry this came later in the day.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  2. No problem, there is a continuity as far as Luke 14,

    Narciso (cd8eac)

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