Monday, May 18, 2015

Encouragement from JS Bach

In the summer of 2011 my dear, sweet wife and I spent an unforgettable four days in Leipzig, Germany for Bachfest.  This is an annual celebration of the music of Bach and his contemporaries and the event draws singers and musicians from all over the world.

I don't know much about classical music.  But I could sit and listen to Bach all day long.  I'm sure it's the Lutheran connection that draws me to his music.  While at Bachfest we heard a beautiful and wonderful rendition of his St. Matthew's Passion at the Nicholas Church.  It was the best concert I've ever attended.

We also spent an evening at the Thomas Church - this was Bach's church - and we heard a program entitled "Christus," which featured music from Bach, Mendelssohn and Listz.  I've saved the programs for all of these events and occasionally will read from them.  Bach's libretto often provides some good devotional material.  Here's a passage that offered some needed encouragement:

It is well for me that I have Jesus;
  Oh, how firmly I hold Him
that He may restore my heart
  when I am ill and sad.

I have Jesus,who loves me
  and gives Himself to me for His own
ah, therefore I will not let go of Jesus
  even though my heart should break

It is God who powerfully strengthens you
  He will stir up in you the power of the Spirit
indeed, He will lay thanks and praise on your tongue.