Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 61
It is the first Sunday of Advent. Today’s Bach cantata is “Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland” (Now come, Savior of the heathens):
Today’s Gospel reading is Mark 13:24-37
“But in those days, following that distress,
“‘the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light;
the stars will fall from the sky,
and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’
“At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.
“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
The Day and Hour Unknown
“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.
“Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’”
The text of today’s cantata is available here and contains these words for our new church year:
The Savior has come,
has taken our poor flesh and blood
and claims us as blood-brothers.
O Highest Good,
what have You not done for us?
What do You not do
still daily for Your own?
You come and allow Your light
to shine full of blessing.
Come, Jesus, come to Your church
and grant a blessed new year!
Support the honor of Your name,
uphold the sound teachings
and bless the chancel and altar!
. . . .
Come, you lovely crown of joy, do not delay,
I await you with longing.
Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.