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Fourth Sunday after Epiphany: Jesus Calms the Storm

January 30th, 2011
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We hear God’s Word:

Jonah 1:1–17
Romans 8:18–23
or Romans 13:8–10
Matthew 8:23–27

We pray:

Almighty God, You know we live in the midst of so many dangers that in our frailty we cannot stand upright. Grant strength and protection to support us in all dangers and carry us through all temptations; through Jesus Christ, You Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Lectionary Summary: The Peace Christ Brings

In Jonah we see ourselves. For Jonah fled from the presence of the Lord (Jonah 1:1–17) even as we sinners turn our backs on God and go our own way. This brings the storm of God’s judgment. But in Jonah we also see Christ. For even as he was in the great fish for three days and three nights, so also Christ Jesus was buried in the depths of death for us and raised on the third day. The Lord of creation, who rules over the wind and the wave (Matt. 8:23–27), saved us from the fury of divine wrath by taking the judgment in His own body. His love is the fulfillment of the Law (Rom 13:8–10). Though our faith be weak in the face of peril, yet we are kept in safety on the ship of the Church; for the Son of God is with us. Though the whole creation groans with us under the curse, yet by Jesus’ speaking, there is a great calm. For we know that our present sufferings are not worthy to be compared with the glory to be revealed in us (Rom 8:18–23). (Source).

Bach Cantata for the Fourth Sunday after Epiphany: BWV 81

1. Aria (A)

Jesus sleeps, what should my hope be?

    See I not
    With an ashen countenance
    Death’s abyss e’en now stand open?

2. Recit. (T)

Lord, why dost thou remain so distant?
Why dost thou hide thyself in time of need?(1)
When all doth me a dreadful end portend?
Ah, will thine eye then not by my distress be troubled,
Whose wont is ne’er to rest in slumber?
Thou showed indeed with one star’s brightness
Ere now the newly convert wise men
The proper path to travel.
Ah, lead then me with thine own eyes’ bright light,
Because this course doth nought but woe forebode.

3. Aria (T)

The foam-crested billows of Belial’s(2) waters
Redoubled their rage.
A Christian, true, like waves must rise
When winds of sadness him surround,
And strive doth the waters’ storm
The strength of faith to diminish.

4. Arioso [Dictum] (B)

Ye of little faith, wherefore are ye so fearful?

5. Aria (B)

Still, O thou tow’ring sea!
Be silent, storm and wind!

    On thee is set thy limit,
    So that this mine own chosen child
    No mishap e’er may injure.

6. Recit. (A)

I’m blest, my Jesus speaks a word,
My helper is awake;
Now must the waters’ storm, misfortune’s night
And ev’ry woe depart.

7. Chorale (S, A, T, B)

Under thy protection
Am I midst the tempests
Of all foes set free.
Leave then Satan raging,
Let the foe grow bitter,
By me Jesus stands.
Though at once the lightning crack
Though both sin and hell strike terror,
Jesus will protect me.

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