It is the sixth Sunday of Easter. The title of today’s cantata is “Erschallet, ihr Lieder, erklinget, ihr Saiten!” (Ring out, you songs; sound, you strings!)
Today’s Gospel reading is John 15:9-17:
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit -— fruit that will last -— and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.
The text of today’s cantata is available here. The words are suffused with references to love:
Whoever loves Me will keep My Word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our dwelling with him.
. . . .
O most beloved Love, who are so sweet,
the fullness of all delight,
I faint when I lack You.
– Take the kiss of grace from Me. –
Be welcome to me in faith,
highest Love, come within!
. . . .
Come, Holy Spirit, Lord God,
fill with the goodness of Your grace
the hearts, wills, and minds of Your faithful.
Ignite Your burning love in them.
Love each other!
And happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.