Sunday, January 9, 2011

Baptism of Our Lord: He Would a New Life Give Us

The Sunday after January 6th is designated for the celebration of the Baptism of Our Lord and marks the start of a focus on the work of Christ on earth. Miracles are a common theme during the Epiphany Season, as well as other significant events in the earthly life of Jesus, culminating in His Transfiguration.

Martin Luther's hymn about this event is Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam. Common English titles include Lutheran Service Book's "To Jordan Came the Christ our Lord" (#406) and Cyber Hymnal's "To Jordan came our Lord the Christ" (see it here). The German text can be found here.

We also have JS Bach's Canata #7 based on this text and tune.

The Cyber Hymnal translation is below. There is a translation misstep in here, but that would be a topic for another post, or perhaps the comment section!


Buxtehude: BuxWV 180, Chorale Prelude
Gerard van Reenen, Cornet and Organ


Christ, unser Herr, zum Jordan kam
Nach seines Vaters Willen,
Von Sanct Johann’s die Taufe nahm,
Sein Werk und Amt zu ’ rfüllen.
Da wollt’ er stiften uns ein Bad,
Zu waschen uns von Sünden,
Ersäufen auch den bittern Tod
Durch sein selbst Blut und Wunden,
Es galt ein neues Leben.

To Jordan came our Lord the Christ,
To do God’s pleasure willing,
And there was by Saint John baptized,
All righteousness fulfilling;
There did He consecrate a bath
To wash away transgression,
And quench the bitterness of death
By His own blood and passion;
He would a new life give us.

JS Bach: Cantata #7, Part I


So hört und merket alle wohl,
Was Gott heisst selbst die Taufe,
Und was ein Christen glauben soll,
Zu meiden Ketzer Haufen:
Gott spricht und will, das Wasser sei
Doch nicht allein schlecht Wasser,
Sein heilig’s Wort ist auch dabei
Mit reichem Geist ohn’ Massen,
Der ist allhie der Täufer.

So hear ye all, and well perceive
What God doth call baptism,
And what a Christian should believe
Who error shuns and schism:
That we should water use, the Lord
Declareth it His pleasure;
Not simple water, but the Word
And Spirit without measure;
He is the true Baptizer.

JS Bach: Cantata #7, Part II


Solch’s hat er uns beweiset klar,
Mit Bildern und mit Worten,
Des Vaters Stimm man offenbar
Daselbst am Jordan hörte.
Er sprach: das ist mein lieber Sohn,
An dem ich hab’ Gefallen,
Den will ich euch befohlen han,
Dass ihr ihn höret alle
Und folget seinen Lehren.

To show us this, He hath His Word
With signs and symbols given;
On Jordan’s banks was plainly heard
The Father’s voice from Heaven:
“This is My well-beloved Son,
In whom My soul delighteth;
Hear Him.” Yea, hear Him every one
Whom He Himself inviteth,
Hear and obey His teaching.

JS Bach: Cantata #7, Part III


Auch Gottes Sohn hie selber steht
In seiner zarten Menschheit,
Der heilig’ Geist hernieder fährt
In Taubenbild verkleidet;
Dass wir nicht sollen zweifeln d’ran,
Wenn wir getaufet werden,
All’ drei Person getaufet han,
Damit bei uns auf Erden
Zu wohnen sich ergeben.

In tender manhood Jesus straight
To holy Jordan wendeth;
The Holy Ghost from Heaven’s gate
In dovelike shape descendeth;
That thus the truth be not denied,
Nor should our faith e’er waver,
That the Three Persons all preside,
At baptism’s holy laver,
And dwell with the believer.

JS Bach: BWV 685 Chorale Prelude
from Clavier-Übung III


Sein’ Jünger heisst der Herre Christ:
Geht hin all’ Welt zu lehren,
Dass sie verlor’n in Sünden ist,
Sich soll zur Busse kehren;
Wer glaubet und sich taufen lässt,
Soll dadurch selig werden,
Ein neugeborner Mensch er heisst,
Der nicht mehr konne sterben,
Das Himmelreich soll erben.

Thus Jesus His disciples sent:
Go teach ye every nation,
That lost in sin they must repent;
And flee from condemnation:
He that believes and is baptized,
Obtains a mighty blessing;
A new-born man, no more he dies,
Eternal life possessing,
A joyful heir of Heaven.

Michael Praetorius: Cantata
Musica Fiata
La Capella Ducale
Roland Wilson, Conductor


Wer nicht glaubt dieser grossen G’nad,
Der bleibt in seinen Sünden,
Und ist verdammt zum ew’gen Tod
Tief in der Höllen Grunde,
Nichts hilst sein’ eigen’ Heiligkeit,
All’ sein Thun ist verloren.
Die Erbsünd’ macht’s zur Nichtigkeit,
Darin er ist geboren,
Vermag ihm selbst nichts helfen.

Who in this mercy hath not faith,
Nor aught therein discerneth,
Is yet in sin, condemned to death,
And fire that ever burneth;
His holiness avails him not,
Nor aught which he is doing;
His inborn sin brings all to naught,
And maketh sure his ruin;
Himself he cannot succor.

J Pachelbel: Chorale Prelude


Das Aug’ allein das Wasser seiht,
Wie Menschen Wasser giessen,
Der Glaub’ im Geist die Kraft versteht
Des Blutes Jesu Christi,
Und ist für ihm ein’ rothe Fluth
Von Christus Blut gefärbet,
Die allen Schaden heilen thut
Von Adam her geerbet,
Auch von uns selbst begangen.

The eye of sense alone is dim,
And nothing sees but water;
Faith sees Christ Jesus, and in Him
The Lamb ordained for slaughter;
She sees the cleansing fountain red
With the dear blood of Jesus,
Which from the sins inherited
From fallen Adam frees us,
And from our own misdoings.

JS Bach: BWV 684, Chorale Prelude
Hans-Andre Stamm, Organist


This hymn was featured last year at this time. Seven different videos are featured on seven different posts, starting with this one and progressing through the next 6 posts.

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