BWV 184 Erwünschtes Freudenlicht

Third Day of Pentecost.

Poet unknown; PT (Leipzig, 1731); Facs: Neumann T, p. 446.

5. Anarg von Wildenfels, verse 8 of "O Herre Gott, dein göttlich Wort," 1526.

30 May 1724, Leipzig; Parody: 1-4, 6 ← BWV 184a; 6 → BWV 213/13.

BG 37; NBA I/14.

1. Recit. (T)

O welcome light of joy,
Which with the new law forth doth break
Through Jesus, our good shepherd!
We, who were wont in death’s deep vales to wander,
Perceive so fully now
How God to us that long expected shepherd sendeth,
Who doth our spirits feed
And with his word and spirit turn
Our steps to righteous pathways.
We, his elected folk, are conscious of his might;
Within his hand alone is that which us restores
And doth our hearts with vigor strengthen.
He loves us, his own herd
Who his support and help remember.
He draweth them from idle things of earth.
To gaze upon him
And evermore rely upon his favor.
O shepherd, for the herd who gives himself,
And till the grave and till his death them loves!
His arm against our foes defends us,
His caring can us sheep in spirit nourish,
Yea, come the time to walk through death’s dark valley,
Our help and strength shall be his gentle staff.(1)
We'll follow, then, with gladness till the grave.
Rise! Haste to him, in bliss to stand before him.

2. Aria (S, A)

O fortunate Christians, O flock filled with rapture,
Come, draw ye to Jesus with gratitude nigh!

    Despise the attraction of worldly deceptions,
    That your satisfaction then perfect may be!

3. Recit. (T)

Be joyful then, all ye elected spirits!
Your joy is grounded safe in Jesus’ heart.
This comfort could no mortal tell of.
This joy doth reach e’en down below
To those who in the bonds of sin were lying,
Which hath now Judah’s hero burst asunder.
A David stands with us.
A hero’s arm doth free us from the foe.
When God with might the flock doth shield,
When he in wrath hurls at their foe his bolt,
When he the bitter cross’s death
For them doth shun not,
Then strike them shall no further woe,
Then live they shall within their God rejoicing.
Here taste they now the noble pasture
And there hope for the perfect joy of heaven

4. Aria (T)

Joy and blessing are prepared
The devoted throng to crown now.

    Jesus brings the golden age
    To those who come to know him.

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

Lord, I still hope thou wilt all those
In no distress abandon,
Who thy word well as servants true
In heart and faith have planted;
Thou givest them thy bliss e’en now
And keepest them from ruin.
O Lord, through thee I pray, let me
Both glad and willing die now.

6. Chorus (S, A, T, B)

O good shepherd, help thy people,(2)
Leave us still thy holy word!

    Let thy gracious face shine brightly,
    Ever bide our God and shield,
    Who with hands which have all power
    Turn our path to life forever!

1. Cf. Ps. 23:4.

2. Trost der Deinen literally means "Help or Comfort of thy people."

© Copyright Z. Philip Ambrose

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