October 29, 2020

Epiphany I: Pic & Cantata of the Week


Hopewell Church, Snowy Day (2015)

(Click on picture to see larger image)

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Bach Cantata BWV 154, “My Dearest Jesus Is Lost”

In Bach’s day, the Gospel reading for the first Sunday in Epiphany was Luke’s story of the boy Jesus in the Temple. The Epistle was from Romans 12, which admonishes believers to present our bodies as a living sacrifice to God.

Bach’s cantatas, therefore, take up themes of “losing Jesus,” as his parents lost track of him, and of the longing to be, and remain, close and wholly devoted to our Savior.

Here is the exuberant duet “Wohl mir, Jesus ist gefunden,” which expresses the joy when Jesus, who has been absent, reveals himself to the soul once more.

Wohl mir, Jesus ist gefunden,
Nun bin ich nicht mehr betrübt.
Der, den meine Seele liebt,
Zeigt sich mir zur frohen Stunden.
Ich will dich, mein Jesu, nun nimmermehr lassen,
Ich will dich im Glauben beständig umfassen.

How happy I am, Jesus is found,
now I am troubled no more.
He whom my soul loves,
reveals himself to me in hours of joy.
I want never again to abandon you, my Jesus,
I want to embrace you constantly in faith.

Cantata Text by Richard Stokes


  1. Bye bye to Dottie. I’m sure this troll will attempt other ways of disrupting our conversations. Please ignore from now on.

  2. Thank you for shepherding this site It’s a lot of work and your labor is appreciated.

  3. I was stuck between this one and the chorale cantata BWV 124, “Meinem Jesum laß ich nicht”. I ended posting the latter on Facebook; there’s just something about Bach’s chorale cantatas that seems to lift me up more than his other work. But this duet from BWV 154 is gorgeous, too! Good work on your weekly cantata postings.

  4. Burro [Mule] says

    What a beautiful church! A little Googling uncovered it as Hopewell Presbyterian Church in Johnson County, Indiana.

    I can’t tell you how pleased I am that there is a living, worshiping congregation of moderate size installed there.

    There are so many architecturally beautiful churches in danger of being lost forever, as the crowds press into the megachurch monstrosities. In Southwest Florida, where the diocese has been Anglo-Catholic as long as I can remember, there are countless little Anglo-Catholic chapels in danger of closing forever.

    • Mule, Hopewell is the church where my wife directs the choir. It really is a lovely little building, and we enjoy the congregation there. I preached there regularly when they were between pastors.

      Here is a reflection I wrote a few years ago when preaching there. It brought back memories of my first congregation. https://internetmonk.com/archive/16102

  5. Heather Angus says

    What a beautiful cantata, Chaplain Mike! I usually avoid Bach because I feel he is too good for my untrained ears, but this one even I can appreciate.