Sunday, March 17, 2013

Hope From Desolation

We are still in the Lenten season, but the end is in sight, with Holy Week approaching soon.

Jesus, all my gladness,
My repose in sadness,
Jesus, heaven to me;
Ah, my heart long plaineth,
Ah, my spirit straineth,
Longeth after thee!
Thine I am, O holy Lamb;
Only where thou art is pleasure,
Thee alone I treasure.

Hence with earthly treasure:
Thou art all my pleasure,
Jesus my desire!
Hence, for pomps I care not,
E'en as though they were not
Rank and fortune's hire.
Want and gloom, cross, death, and tomb;
Naught that I may suffer ever
Shall from Jesus sever.

Flee, dark clouds that lower,
For my joy-bestower,
Jesus, enters in!
Joy from tribulation,
Hope from desolation,
They who love God win.
Be it blame or scorn or shame,
Thou art with me in earth's sadness,
Jesus, all my gladness. 

Johann Franck, 1650;
tr. Arthur W. Wotherspoon, 1912; alt.
Johann Cruger, 1653; harm. J. S. Bach (18th cent.)

P.S. - The art above is a portion of the painting The Presence (1910) by A. E. Borthwick, which hangs at St. Mary's Cathedral in Edinburgh and depicts Christ coming to a petitioner in the nave of the cathedral.

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