Contented Peace

This beautiful aria was our Communion anthem today at Our Saviour Lutheran Church, from Bach’s Cantata BWV 170, Vergnügte Ruh, to words by Georg Christian Lehms (1684–1717).

Contented peace, beloved delight of the soul,
You cannot be found among the sins of hell,
But only where there is heavenly harmony;
You alone strengthen the weak breast.
For this reason nothing but the gifts of virtue
Should have any place in my heart.

As it happens, this cantata was also the subject of today’s Sunday Cantata. If you missed it, you can catch up by visiting Lutheran Radio UK’s website.

[The singer is Robin Blaze, on Vol. 37 of Bach Collegium Japan’s complete set of Bach’s sacred cantatas. Translation: Francis Brown, reproduced by permission of the translator and bach-cantats.com.]

Children in the Service

This is printed on the front page of the bulletin each week at Our Saviour Lutheran Church:

It is a delight and a privilege to have children in the service. Children as much as adults are members of God’s family and Jesus welcomes little children to Him.

There is a Sunday School for children during the sermon. The children leave at the beginning of the sermon and return to church before the Service of the Sacrament.

Please do not worry if your child will not sit still or quietly throughout the service. Most young children won’t manage that! There is plenty of space at the back of the room. If you do need to take a child outside, the smaller room is available for that purpose.

Prayer: Learning by imitation

So prayer is something we have to learn. A child learns to speak because his father speaks to him. He learns his father’s own language. That is how we learn to speak to God, for God has spoken and still speaks to us. His children learn to speak to him in the language of their Father in heaven. We begin to pray by repeating to God his own words.We are to speak to him not in the false and confused language of our own hearts but in the clear, pure language in which God has spoken to us in Jesus Christ, and in that language he will hear us.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Psalms: Prayer Book of the Bible (Oxford: SLG Press, 1982), 2