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Rev. David Tews

Wenn soll es doch geschehen,
When will it happen,
Wenn kömmt die liebe Zeit,
when comes the dear time
Daß ich ihn werde sehen,
that I shall see him
In seiner Herrlichkeit?
in his glory ?
Du Tag, wenn wirst du sein,
You day, when will you come
Daß wir den Heiland grüßen,
that we may greet the Saviour,
Daß wir den Heiland küssen?
that we may kiss the Saviour ?
Komm, stelle dich doch ein!
Come, be present soon!

The above chorale is the closing hymn in Johann Sebastion Bach's Ascension Day Oratorio. We will be observing Ascension Day on Thursday, May 14, with a Divine Service with Holy Communion at 5 p.m. followed by a special supper. On this day we remember that our Lord Jesus Christ ascended back to heaven to sit in power and glory at the Father's right hand. There He is ruling over all things for us His people until that great Day when He will return in power and glory with all the holy angels to take His bride home as He promised in John 14: 3 "... I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you home with Me so that you will be where I am." (NET)
The above closing hymn stanza by Bach in both words and music expresses the joy in looking forward to Jesus' return. The music Bach composed for this stanza is unlike any other arrangement he composed and has a rhythm that is really catchy using kettle drums and trumpets along with violins, organ, flutes, oboes and recorders. I found myself wanting to listen to the words and music many times over on the car stereo. The version I listened to was in German and I could not believe what I was hearing and seeing in the words of this chorale. It truly brings out the longing of every Christian for that great day of Jesus' return in glory to raise us from the dead, or if we are alive, to give us our brand new resurrection body to live with Him and all the believers in the new heaven and earth. For us it will be that dear beloved time to see Him face to face. Bach gets into some very intimate and personal detail with this chorale in the believer's joy and excitement over seeing and greeting Jesus. That greeting becomes close and personal that includes hugs and kisses. I could not believe my eyes and ears when I say the word küssen in this stanza and that from a German, a nationality that is often stereotyped for not showing much emotion. But I relish Bach's picture of the warmth and depth of our God-Man Jesus� love for us. It moves the concept of love from the abstract to the up close and personal. And the last phrase echoes the closing verses of Scripture from Revelation 22:20 "He who is testifying to these things says: Yes, I am coming soon!" Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!" (NET) I can hardly wait for those warm grüßen�s and küssen�s! XOXOXO Come, Lord Jesus!

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