Monday, 16 November 2009

Bach to the rescue

Had a rather bad day yesterday - not physically, but emotionally. I was grumpy and touchy and didn't much feel like being polite to God, which was not good it being Sunday. So apologies to people I was more than usually rude to. Puzzling why it might be, my conclusion's been that John's death and the service affected me more than I was conscious of. I'm used to funerals and grief and so on, obviously; but our having shared MND and faith, I suppose, gave this added potency, or got a bit deeper. After lunch today I turned on the radio in the sitting room. It was tuned to Radio 3. It was a concert performance of Bach's St John Passion from Cleveland in the US given by Apollo's Fire (aka Cleveland Baroque Orchestra) conducted by Jeannette Sorrell and IN ENGLISH. * It was electric. And I just listened to it for the rest of the afternoon. In case you don't know, it's basically St John's account of Jesus' last hours from when he goes to the Garden of Gethsemane till his death on the cross, with poems and meditation on the way. It's achingly beautiful music, and was performed with wonderful vividness and intensity. There's one aria after Jesus' death where the bass sings with the chorus doing a backing track. The only version I can find is a bit quaint, but you'll get the point.

My precious Saviour, let me ask thee,
(Backing) Jesus, thou who suffered death,
Since thou upon the cross wast fastened
And said thyself, "It is fulfilled,"
(B) Livest now forever,
Am I from dying been made free?
(B) In the final throes of death
(B) Nowhere other guide me
(B) Can I through this thy pain and dying
The realm of heaven inherit?
Is all the world's redemption here?
(B) But to thee, redeemer mine,
(B) O thou, my dear master!
Thou canst in pain, indeed, say nothing;
Give me just what thou hast earned,
But thou dost bow thy head
(B) And sayest in silence, "Yes."
(B) More I cannot wish for!
More I cannot wish for!

Yes, indeed. I think I'm more human now. An odd thing is, unlike most Radio 3 broadcasts, you can't listen to that one again (presumably to do with rights). Was it just chance I tuned in?

*(I hate it when purists insist on music being sung in a language the audience can't understand. Sing Verdi in Italian in Italy, Janacek in Czech in Czech Republic - but allow us to understand it, please! Just don't be an elitist snob.)


  1. No not chance at all. See Sandy's word in my Inbox this morning:

    Sandy Warner
    Nov 18, 2009


    From the rhema journals of Sandy Warner * *

    word to ponder: HANDFULS of purpose just for you 6/15/09

    I love how you love My Word and My provision! I see you treasuring each morsel, making sure nothing is lost. Beloved you stir my heart so deeply for your passion and joy over even the smallest details of what I provide. You have earnestly sought Me and not given up. You have given honor to Me as your Provider.

    I love you so much that I will move heaven and earth to send you angels from all over the world, to walk before you, dropping even the smallest details on purpose, just for you. You are My dear, dear one and you will always be given more than enough. I rejoice when you rejoice and I AM satisfied when you are satisfied.

    Ruth 2:14-16 nlt

    At lunchtime Boaz called to her, "Come over here and help yourself to some of our food. You can dip your bread in the wine if you like." So she sat with his harvesters, and Boaz gave her food — more than she could eat. 15 When Ruth went back to work again, Boaz ordered his young men, "Let her gather grain right among the sheaves without stopping her. 16 And pull out some heads of barley from the bundles and drop them on purpose for her. Let her pick them up, and don't give her a hard time!"

  2. Thanks, Mary. Some years ago we used to sing a hymn which went something like:
    I do not know what lies ahead
    The way I cannot see
    But One stands there to hold my hand
    He'll show the way to me....
    With God things don't just happen
    Everything by him is planned....

    Although it's a concept too big to get my mind round, there have been too many 'coincidences' for me really to doubt it.

    PS Thanks for the links to Sandy Warner.