What a 10th Sunday after Trinity – and not only because the three children of a very old friend of mine greeted me most kindly as I entered the most holy sanctuary and place were God’s glory dwells! More still my old friend going back to our junior school days in Uelzen is now proud grandfather and today his granddaugther was baptized: Hallelujah + Another old friend of days long gone by and a very grandson of old Pastor Berhard Schwarz. I got to know him as friend and companion of Ralf & Frank Schulz – sons of Pastor Johannes Schulz – and members of the Westville Lutheran Church, when we were very much part of the children’s and teenage camps in Bethany and elsewhere. He had however left the Lutheran Church to join the Jehova’s Witnesses under influence of his mother even before he was confirmed. After nearly 40 years he rejoined the Lutheran Church today and was confirmed into the Lutheran faith under the tutelage of Pastor Martin Paul. So this was a very joyous Sunday even as our pastor preached on the most heart-rending gospel of Jesus crying over Jerusalem and cleaning out the temple too. The choir sang several well orchestrated pieces with Otto Johannes playing the organ, Tobias Damaske the jubilant leading trumpet and Dr Böhmer the most pleasant bass trombone. During Holy Communion the beautiful words of Wilhelm Löhe depicted the joyous realitz of this most high and sanctified Gottesdienst:
- Weit offen steht des Himmels Perlentor, es steigt vom goldnen Thron, umringt von seiner Auserwählten Chor, der heilge Gottessohn; lobsingend tönen Lieder der Engel ihm voran, es spürt die Erde wieder den Herrn des Lebens nahn.
- Sein Wort wird laut. Er segnet Brot und Wein: “Das ist mein Fleisch und Blut, nun eßt und trinkt und denket dankend mein, so oft ihrs immer tut.” Geheimnisvolle Weise! Es bietet vom Altar der Herr zu Trank und Speise sich selbst den Gästen dar.
- Unsichtbar stehn um ihn die Cherubim, verhüllt das Angesicht, und alle Heilgen neigen sich vor ihm, umflammt von seinem Licht; auf ewig ist verschwunden, was Erd und Himmel trennt, denn Gott hat sie verbunden im heilgen Sakrament
The final hymn was then a joint effort by the congregation, choir, brass band and organ: “Such wer da will ein ander Ziel…” (Text: Georg Weissel 1623 and Melody: Friedrich Zipp 1956) This was most lovely to hear and attend.
Here is today’s Bach Kantate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZCHmmV5hV8 and also the hymn for this Sunday: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKcNuFjFrEk
A picture gallery for the day is attached here with a special photo of Mrs Ämchen Wittig (Kirchdorf, KZN), who was the matron in the hostel in Wartburg during my highschool days. She’s now 94 and also celebrated the baptism of her great-grand daughter today.