Merry Christmas! Enjoy Some Bach: Cantata BWV 121
Merry Christmas! Here is some Bach to help you enjoy the day: “Christum wir sollen loben schon” (We should praise Christ highly):
Today’s Gospel reading is Luke 2:1-14, (15-20):
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
The emphasis is mine, and is explained here.
The text of today’s piece is available here. It contains these words:
We should already be praising Christ,
the Son of the pure girl Mary,
for as long as the dear sun shines
and reaches to the end of the entire world.
. . . .
John’s joyful leaps
already acknowledge You, my Jesus.
Now where an arm of faith embraces You,
then, away from the world,
my heart will fervently hasten to Your manger.
Yet how can it behold You in Your manger?
My heart sighs: with lips trembling and almost closed shut
it brings its thankful offering there.
God, that was so immeasurable,
takes on poverty and the form of a servant.
And since He has done this for our sake,
then with the angel choruses
let us hear a jubilant song of praise and thanks!
Praise, honor, and thanks be said to You,
Christ, born from the pure maid,
together with the Father and the Holy Spirit
from now on to eternity.
Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.