Respice, Domine. Psalm 74.
Look, O Lord, graciously upon the covenant, and forsake not the congregation of the poor for ever: arise, O Lord, maintain thine own cause, and be not unmindful of the voices of them that seek thee. O God, wherefore art thou absent from us so long: why is thy wrath so hot against the sheep in thy pasture? Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: world without end. Amen. Look, O Lord . . .
Almighty and merciful God, of whose only gift it cometh that thy faithful people do unto thee true and laudable service: grant, we beseech thee, that we may so faithfully serve thee in this life, that we fail not finally to attain thy heavenly promises. Through the merits of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Brethren: to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
[Psalm 74] Look upon the covenant, O Lord, and forget not the congregation of the poor for ever. Arise, O God, maintain thine own cause; remember how the foolish man blasphemeth thee daily.
Alleluia, alleluia. [Psalm 90] Lord, thou hast been our refuge: from one generation to another. Alleluia.
St. Luke 10:23-37
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see: For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them. And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that showed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
[Psalm 31] My hope hath been in thee, O Lord; I have said: thou art my God, my time is in thy hand.
[Wisdom 16:20] Thou hast send us bread from heaven, O Lord: having every delight, and every taste of sweetness
First sung in services in Leipzig in the summer of 1723, J. S. Bach’s Du sollt Gott, deinen Herren, lieben (“You must love God, your Lord,” BWV 77) presents an extended reflection on what it means to love God with all of one’s heart. With an opening text taken from today’s Gospel, this cantata features four solo movements — recitatives by bass and tenor soloists and arias by soprano and alto soloists — framed by an opening chorus and a closing chorale. This last movement is based on a melody from the early 15th-century.
The opening chorus is particularly worthy of attention. Perhaps when Bach thought about the challenge of loving God with all of his heart, he felt moved to construct a work that has an astonishing complexity. Below the embedded performance is a detailed and learned analysis of this chorus’s structure by Richard Atkinson.
Du sollt Gott, deinen Herren, lieben is sung here by the Holland Boys Choir and the Netherlands Bach Collegium, conducted by Pieter Jan Leusink. The soloists are soprano Ruth Holton; alto sytse Buwalda; tenor Nico van der Meel; and bass: Bas Ramselaar. The text for the cantata is available here.
Below is an analysis of the opening chorus of Cantata BWV 77 by Richard Atkinson. He has also posted video analyses of a number of other works, choral and instrumental.
The following poem is from John Keble’s The Christian Year (1827).
And He turned Him onto His disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see: for I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them: and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
St. Luke x. 23, 24.
On Sinai’s top, in prayer and trance,
Full forty nights and forty days
The Prophet watched for one dear glance
Of thee and of Thy ways:
Fasting he watched and all alone,
Wrapt in a still, dark, solid cloud,
The curtain of the Holy One
Drawn round him like a shroud:
So, separate from the world, his breast
Might duly take and strongly keep
The print of Heaven, to be expressed
Ere long on Sion’s steep.
There one by one his spirit saw
Of things divine the shadows bright,
The pageant of God’s perfect law;
Yet felt not full delight.
Through gold and gems, a dazzling maze,
From veil to veil the vision led,
And ended, where unearthly rays
From o’er the ark were shed.
Yet not that gorgeous place, nor aught
Of human or angelic frame,
Could half appease his craving thought;
The void was still the same.
“Show me Thy glory, gracious Lord!
’Tis Thee,” he cries, “not Thine, I seek.”
No, start not at so bold a word
From man, frail worm and weak:
The spark of his first deathless fire
Yet buoys him up, and high above
The holiest creature, dares aspire
To the Creator’s love.
The eye in smiles may wander round,
Caught by earth’s shadows as they fleet;
But for the soul no help is found,
Save Him who made it, meet.
Spite of yourselves, ye witness this,
Who blindly self or sense adore;
Else wherefore leaving your own bliss
Still restless ask ye more?
This witness bore the saints of old
When highest rapt and favoured most,
Still seeking precious things untold,
Not in fruition lost.
Canaan was theirs; and in it all
The proudest hope of kings dare claim:
Sion was theirs; and at their call
Fire from Jehovah came.
Yet monarchs walked as pilgrims still
In their own land, earth’s pride and grace:
And seers would mourn on Sion’s hill
Their Lord’s averted face.
Vainly they tried the deeps to sound
E’en of their own prophetic thought,
When of Christ crucified and crowned
His Spirit in them taught:
But He their aching gaze repressed,
Which sought behind the veil to see,
For not without us fully blest
Or perfect might they be.
The rays of the Almighty’s face
No sinner’s eye might then receive;
Only the meekest man found grace
To see His skirts and live.
But we as in a glass espy
The glory of His countenance,
Not in a whirlwind hurrying by
The too presumptuous glance,
But with mild radiance every hour,
From our dear Saviour’s face benign
Bent on us with transforming power,
Till we, too, faintly shine.
Sprinkled with His atoning blood
Safely before our God we stand,
As on the rock the Prophet stood,
Beneath His shadowing hand. —
Blessed eyes, which see the things we see!
And yet this tree of life hath proved
To many a soul a poison tree,
Beheld, and not beloved.
So like an angel’s is our bliss
(Oh! thought to comfort and appal)
It needs must bring, if used amiss,
An angel’s hopeless fall.
The following hymns are from Bp. Christopher Wordsworth’s The Holy Year; or Hymns for Sundays and Holy Days throughout the Year (1862).
THIRTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY
Christ’s love to fallen Man, as seen in the Parable of the Good Samaritan in the Gospel of the Week; and the Preparatory character of the Mosaic Law, as typified in that Gospel, and as declared in the Epistle of the Week.
When from the City of our God
Man wander’d far away,
He fell into the Tempter’s hands,
Was stripp’d, and wounded lay.
The Priesthood and the Law came by,
And Man’s sore plight espied.
They look’d upon our wounds, and then
Pass’d on the other side.
At length another Traveller came.
Sent down from God to Man,
One, Whom His own in bitter scorn
Call’d a Samaritan.
He bound our wounds, and pour’d in oil
And wine with tender care,
And bore us to an Inn, — His Church, —
And safely lodged us there.
He gave us to the Host in charge,
And, “at that future Day
When I shall come again,” He said,
“I will thy pains repay.”
What beams of Grace and Mercy, Lord,
In Thy Example shine!
O may we give Thee thanks and praise
By showing love like Thine.
So may we at that future Day
With joy Thy Coming see,
And hear that blessing, — “What ye did
To Mine, ye did to Me.”
ANOTHER FOR THE SAME SUNDAY
The History of Sennacherib, King of Assyria, as recorded in the First Lesson of last Sunday Evening, and in the First Lesson of this Morning.
O King of Kings, we Thee adore,
Thee, Lord, and Thee alone ;
The Earth, O God, Thy footstool is,
The heaven of heavens Thy Throne.
O Lord, Thou dost permit the proud
To work Thy will divine;
Sennacheribs Thy scourges are;
They are “a sword of Thine.”
Full often. Lord, that sword of Thine
Lays fencèd cities waste;
And guilty Nations from their hand
Thy cup of fury taste.
The proud Avenger deems that he
Has made their rivers dry,
And Lebanons and Carmels spoil’d;
Blaspheming God most High.
But when Thy Hezekiahs pray,
And for Thy succour cry,
Spreading the letters of the proud
Before Thy righteous Eye ;
Then, Lord, Thy breath consumes the host;
And in their idol’s fane
By sudden strokes from children’s hands
Sennacheribs are slain.
O King of Kings, we Thee adore,
Thee, Lord, and Thee alone;
The Earth, O God, Thy footstool is,
The heaven of heavens Thy Throne.