Thursday, June 25, 2009

Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring

This tune by J.S. Bach is quite common, especially in weddings. But have you ever heard the words? It was originally written in German, but the translation reads:

Jesu, joy of man's desiring,
Holy Wisdom, Love most bright;
Drawn by Thee, our souls, aspiring,
Soar to uncreated light.

Word of God, our flesh that fashion'd,
With the fire of life impassion'd,
Striving still to truth unknown,
Soaring, dying, round Thy throne.

Through the way where hope is guiding,
Hark, what peaceful music rings!
Where the flock, in Thee confiding,
Drink of joy from deathless springs.

Theirs is beauty's fairest pleasure;
Theirs is wisdom's holiest treasure.
Thou dost ever lead Thine own
In the love of joys unknown.

Isn't that beautiful? I love the imagery of Jesus as the fulfilling joy of our desires. And God as 'uncreated light.' And His breath infusing us with the fire of life. And Hope guiding us. And drinking from deathless springs of joy. It truly is lovely. I hope you enjoyed it too.


Praise the LORD, O my soul.
O LORD my God, You are very great;
You are clothed with splendor and majesty.
He wraps Himself in light as with a garment;

He stretches out the heavens like a tent
And lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters.

He makes the clouds his chariot
And rides on the wings of the wind.
He makes winds His messengers,

Flames of fire His servants.
He set the earth on its foundations;
it can never be moved...

May the glory of the LORD endure forever;
May the LORD rejoice in his works--
He who looks at the earth, and it trembles,

Who touches the mountains, and they smoke.
I will sing to the LORD all my life;

I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
May my meditation be pleasing to Him,

as I rejoice in the LORD.
--Psalm 104:1-5, 31-34, NIV

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