BWV 154 Mein liebster Jesus ist verloren

First Sunday after Epiphany.

Poet unknown.

3. Martin Jahn, verse 2 of "Jesu, meiner Seelen Wonne," 1661 (Fischer-Tümpel, V, #497); 5. Lk. 2:49; 8. Christian Keymann, verse 6 of "Meinen Jesus laß ich nicht," (Fischer-Tümpel, IV, #13).

9 January 1724, Leipzig; perhaps first in Weimar; again after 1735.

BG 32; NBA I/5.


1. Aria (T)

My precious Jesus now hath vanished:

    O word which me despair doth bring,
    O sword which through my soul doth drive,
    O thund'rous word, when mine for hearing.(1)

2. Recit. (T)

Where shall I, then, my Jesus meet,
Who will show me the way
Whereon my soul's most fervent desiring,
My Savior, hath now journeyed?
No sorrow could me ever touch so deeply
Than if I were to lose my Jesus.

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

Jesus, my shield and Redeemer,
Jesus, my true confidence,
Jesus, mighty serpent-slayer,
Jesus, of my life the light!
How my heart now thee desireth,
Little Jesus, for thee acheth!
Come, ah come, I wait for thee,
Come, O little Jesus dear!

4. Aria (A)

Jesus, let me find thee,
Let now my transgressions
Not the swelling clouds become
Where thou, to my terror,
Wouldst from me lie hidden;
Soon thyself again reveal!

5. Arioso [Dictum] (B)(2)

Know ye then not that I must be there where my Father's business is?

6. Recit. (T)

This is the voice of my beloved,(3)
God praise and thanks!
My Jesus, my devoted shield,
Makes through his word
Himself heard for new comfort;
I was with grieving sick,
My sorrow sought the very quick,
My bones were nearly wasted;
But now, though, will my faith again be strong,
Now I am filled with joy;
For I behold the glory of my spirit,
My Savior, my true sunlight,
Who after mourning's night of grief
Through his bright light doth make my heart rejoice.
Rise, spirit, get thyself prepared!
Thou must to him
Into his Father's house, into his temple draw;
There he himself within his word revealeth,
There would he in the sacrament restore thee;
But if thou worthily his flesh and blood would taste now,
Then thou must Jesus kiss in faith and firm repentance.

7. Aria (A, T)

What bliss, I have now found Jesus,
Now am I no more distressed.
He whom this my soul doth love
Comes to me for joyous hours.
I will, O my Jesus, now nevermore leave thee,
I will now in faith ever steadfast embrace thee.

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

This my Jesus I'll not leave,
I'll forever walk beside him;
Christ shall let me more and more
To the springs of life be guided.
Blessed those who say with me:
This my Jesus I'll not leave.


1. Cf. Johann Rist, "O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort," and Lk. 2:35.

2. Representing the Vox Christi.

3. S. of S. 2:8.


© Copyright  Z. Philip Ambrose


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