Rihard Jakopič (Slovenia, 1869-1943) Sonce (=The Sun) II.
"The light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days" (Isaiah 30.26).
Truly, O people in Zion, inhabitants of Jerusalem, you shall weep no more (Isaiah 30.19).
by Jayne Jaudon Ferrer.
No snow fell the night that Jesus was born;
no gaily wrapped gifts lay awaiting next morn.
That first Christmas Day dawned unheralded, calm,
to no glorious psalm.
Yet that simple tableau, Holy Mother and Child,
commenced grace everlasting for souls sin-defiled.
With love pure as sunrise, with mercy for all,
God reached out, through a baby, and put forth a call.
Millennia later, midst great celebrations,
distracted by presents and gay decorations,
our focus is blurred as we try to keep sight
of the Babe who was born on that holiest night.
Help us, O God, to refix our gaze
on Bethlehem's miracle during these days.
Give us the wisdom to seek and embrace
your bountiful, free, unconditional grace
for, truly, that blessing bestowed in a stall
is the one perfect gift on this earth for us all.
Truly, O people in Zion, inhabitants of Jerusalem, you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when he hears it, he will answer you. Though the Lord may give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself any more, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left, your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’ Then you will defile your silver-covered idols and your gold-plated images. You will scatter them like filthy rags; you will say to them, ‘Away with you!’
He will give rain for the seed with which you sow the ground, and grain, the produce of the ground, which will be rich and plenteous. On that day your cattle will graze in broad pastures; and the oxen and donkeys that till the ground will eat silage, which has been winnowed with shovel and fork. On every lofty mountain and every high hill there will be brooks running with water—on a day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall. Moreover, the light of the moon will be like the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, like the light of seven days, on the day when the Lord binds up the injuries of his people, and heals the wounds inflicted by his blow.
Praise the Lord!
How good it is to sing praises to our God;
for he is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting.
The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
He heals the broken-hearted,
and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars;
he gives to all of them their names.
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
his understanding is beyond measure.
The Lord lifts up the downtrodden;
he casts the wicked to the ground.
Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.’
Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness. These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax-collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed him.
These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: ‘Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, proclaim the good news, “The kingdom of heaven has come near.” Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment.
Give us, O God, the vision which can see Your love in the world in spite of human failure. Give us the faith to trust Your goodness in spite of our ignorance and weakness. Give us the knowledge that we may continue to pray with understanding hearts. And show us what each one of us can do to set forward the coming of the day of universal peace. — Frank Borman, Apollo 8 space mission, 1968.
J. S. Bach. Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich [For you O Lord, I long; Psalm 25] BWV 150 (1707?). VOCES8, Academy of Ancient Music (Bojan Čičič, leader).
2. Chorus: Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich. Mein Gott, ich hoffe auf dich. Laß mich nicht zuschanden werden, daß sich meine Feinde nicht freuen über mich.
Lord, I long for you. My God, I hope in you. Let me not be put to shame, so that my enemies will not rejoice over me.
3. Aria (Soprano): Doch bin und bleibe ich vergnügt, Obgleich hier zeitlich toben Kreuz, Sturm und andre Proben, Tod, Höll, und was sich fügt. Ob Unfall schlägt den treuen Knecht, Recht ist und bleibet ewig Recht.
Yet I am and remain content, although at the moment here may rage cross, storm and other trials, death, hell, and what is theirs. Though misfortune strike the true servant, right is and remains eternally right.
4. Chorus: Leite mich in deiner Wahrheit und lehre mich; denn du bist der Gott, der mir hilft, täglich harre ich dein.
Lead me in your Truth and teach me; for you are the God, who helps me, I await you daily.
5. Terzett (Alto, Tenor, Bass): Zedern müssen von den Winden Oft viel Ungemach empfinden, Oftmals werden sie verkehrt. Rat und Tat auf Gott gestellet, Achtet nicht, was widerbellet, Denn sein Wort ganz anders lehrt.
Cedars must, before the winds, often feel much hardship, often they will be destroyed. Place your words and deeds before God, heed not what howls against you, since his Word teaches otherwise.
6. Chorus: Meine Augen sehen stets zu dem Herrn; denn er wird meinen Fuß aus dem Netze ziehen.
My eyes gaze continually at the Lord; for he will draw my foot out of the net.
7. Chorus: Meine Tage in den Leiden Endet Gott dennoch zur Freuden; Christen auf den Dornenwegen Führen Himmels Kraft und Segen. Bleibet Gott mein treuer Schutz, Achte ich nicht Menschentrutz; Christus, der uns steht zur Seiten. Hilft mir täglich sieghaft streiten.
My days in suffering God will nevertheless end in joy; Christians upon the thorny pathways are led by Heaven’s power and blessing. If God remains my dearest treasure, I need not heed mankind’s cruelty; Christ, who stands by our side, helps me daily fight to victory.
May the Lord, when he comes, find us watching and waiting. Amen.