The Third Sunday After Easter: Jubilate
Isaiah 40:25–31 or Lamentations 3:22–33
1 Peter 2:11–20 or 1 John 3:1–3
Martin Luther on the Gospel Reading
Every Christian must have temptations, trials, anxieties, adversities, sorrows, come what may. Therefore he mentions here no sorrow nor trial, he simply says they shall weep, lament, and be sorrowful, for the Christian has many persecutions. Some are suffering loss of goods; others there are whose character is suffering ignominy and scorn; some are drowned, others are burned; some are beheaded; one perishes in this manner, and another in that; it is therefore the lot of the Christian constantly to suffer misfortune, persecution, trials and adversity. This is the rod or fox tail with which they are punished. They dare not look for anything better as long as they are here. This is the court color by which the Christian is recognized, and if anyone wants to be a Christian, he dare not be ashamed of his court color or livery. Why does God do this and permit his own to be persecuted and hounded? In order to suppress and subdue the free will, so that it may not seek an expedient in their works; but rather become a fool in God’s works and learn thereby to trust and depend upon God alone. Therefore when this now comes to pass, we shall not be able to accommodate ourselves to it, and shall not understand it, unless Christ himself awakens us and makes us cheerful, so that his resurrection becomes effective in us, and all our works fall to pieces and be as nothing. Therefore the text here concludes powerfully, that man is absolutely nothing in his own strength. Here everything is condemned and thrust down that has been and may still be preached about good works; for this is the conclusion; where Christ is not, there is nothing. Ask St. Peter how he was disposed when Christ was not with him. What good works did he do? He denied Christ. He renounced him with an oath. Like good works we do, when we have not Christ with us. Thus all serves to the end that we should accustom ourselves to build alone upon Christ, and to depend upon no other work, upon no other creature, whether in heaven or upon earth. In this name alone are we preserved and blessed, and in none other. Acts 4, 12 and 10, 43. But on this account we must suffer much. The worst of all is, that we must not only suffer shame, persecution and death; but that the world rejoices because of our great loss and misfortunes. This is indeed very hard and bitter. Surely it shall thus come to pass, for the world will rejoice when it goes ill with us; but this comfort we have that their joy shall not last long, and our sorrow shall be turned into eternal joy. Of this the Lord gives us a beautiful parable of the woman in travail, when he says: “A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come, but when she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish for joy that a man is born into the world.” Source
J. S. Bach Cantata on John 16:16-22
Note: The text, in German and English, follows the videos.
|1. Sinfonia2. Chor
Wir müssen durch viel Trübsal in das Reich Gottes eingehen.
|1. Sinfonia2. Chorus
We must enter the Kingdom of God through much sorrow.
|3. Arie A
Ich will nach dem Himmel zu,
Schnödes Sodom, ich und du
Sind nunmehr geschieden.
Meines Bleibens ist nicht hier,
Denn ich lebe doch bei dir
Nimmermehr in Frieden.
|3. Aria A
I want to go to heaven;
contemptible Sodom, you and I
are parted from now on.
My resting-place is not here,
since I can live with you
nevermore in peace.
|4. Rezitativ S
Ach! wer doch schon im Himmel wär!
Wie dränget mich nicht die böse Welt!
Mit Weinen steh ich auf,
Mit Weinen leg ich mich zu Bette,
Wie trüglich wird mir nachgestellt!
Herr! merke, schaue drauf,
Sie hassen mich, und ohne Schuld,
Als wenn die Welt die Macht,
Mich gar zu töten hätte;
Und leb ich denn mit Seufzen und Geduld
Verlassen und veracht’,
So hat sie noch an meinem Leide
Die größte Freude.
Mein Gott, das fällt mir schwer.
Ach! wenn ich doch,
Mein Jesu, heute noch
Bei dir im Himmel wär!
|4. Recitative S
Ah! if I were only in heaven!
In what way am I not oppressed by the evil world!
I awake in tears,
in tears I lay down in my bed,
how deceitfully am I assailed!
Lord! Take note, look here,
they hate me, though guiltless,
as if the world had the power
even to put me to death;
while I live with sighs and patience
abandoned and scorned,
even at my suffering they have
the greatest joy.
My God, this lays heavily upon me.
Alas! if only,
my Jesus, even today
I were with You in heaven!
|5. Arie S
Ich säe meine Zähren
Mit bangem Herzen aus.
Jedoch mein Herzeleid
Wird mir die Herrlichkeit
Am Tage der seligen Ernte gebären.
|5. Aria S
I sow my tears
with an anxious heart.
However my heart’s sorrow
will become glory for me
on the day the blessed sheaves are harvested.
|6. Rezitativ T
Ich bin bereit,
Mein Kreuz geduldig zu ertragen;
Ich weiß, daß alle meine Plagen
Nicht wert der Herrlichkeit,
Die Gott an den erwählten Scharen
Und auch an mir wird offenbaren.
Itzt wein ich, da das Weltgetümmel
Bei meinem Jammer fröhlich scheint.
Bald kommt die Zeit,
Da sich mein Herz erfreut,
Und da die Welt einst ohne Tröster weint.
Wer mit dem Feinde ringt und schlägt,
Dem wird die Krone beigelegt;
Denn Gott trägt keinen nicht mit Händen in dem Himmel.
|6. Recitative T
I am ready
to bear my Cross patiently;
I know that all my troubles
are not equal to the glory
that God will reveal to the chosen flock
and even to me.
Now I weep, since the turmoil of the world
seems joyful next to my suffering.
Soon the time will come
when my heart will rejoice,
and when the world one day will weep without comfort.
Whoever strives and battles with the enemy,
will have the crown placed upon him;
for God carries no one to heaven in His hands.
|7. Arie (Duett) T B
Wie will ich mich freuen, wie will ich mich laben,
Wenn alle vergängliche Trübsal vorbei!
Da glänz ich wie Sterne und leuchte wie Sonne,
Da störet die himmlische selige Wonne
Kein Trauern, Heulen und Geschrei.
|7. Aria (Duet) T B
How I will rejoice, how I will delight,
when all mortal sorrows are over!
There I will shine like a star and glow like the sun,
then the divine, blessed joy will be destroyed
by no sorrow, moan or shriek.
Ach, ich habe schon erblicket
Diese große Herrlichkeit;
Jetzo werd ich schön geschmücket
Mit dem weißen Himmelskleid;
Mit der güldnen Ehrenkrone
Steh ich da vor Gottes Throne,
Schaue solche Freude an,
Die kein Ende nehmen kann.
(“Alle Menschen müssen sterben,” verse 7)
Ah, I have already seen
this great glory;
now I will be beautifully adorned
with the white robe of heaven;
with the golden crown of honor
I shall stand there before God’s throne,
beholding such joy
that can never come to an end.
|Acts 14:22 (mov’t. 2); “Alle Menschen müssen sterben,” verse 7: Johann Rosenmüller or Johann Georg Albinus 1652 (mov’t. 8)|