Common-Place or “Locus Communis” — a place to remember
Written by Johann Lindemann in 1598, “In Dir Ist Freude” (“In Thee is Gladness”) was translated from the German by Catherine Winkworth almost three hundred years later. Winkworth was a pioneer in promoting women’s rights as well as promoting women’s higher education. Johann Lindemann was one of the signers of the Lutheran Formula of Concord, and served often as a cantor in various churches in his native Germany. The hymn is often performed using J.S. Bach’s arrangement.
In Thee is Gladness
In thee is gladness amid all sadness, Jesus, sunshine of my heart! By thee are given the gifts of heaven, thou the true redeemer art! Our souls thou wakest, our bonds thou breakest, who trusts thee surely hath built securely, and stands forever: Hallelujah! Our hearts are pining to see thy shining, dying or living to thee are cleaving, naught can us sever: Hallelujah!
If he is ours, we fear no powers, nor of earth, nor sin, nor death. He sees and blesses in worst distresses; he can change them with a breath. Wherefore the story, tell of his glory, with heart and voices all heav’n rejoices in him forever: Hallelujah! We shout for gladness, triumph o’er sadness, love thee and praise thee, and still shall raise thee glad hymns forever: Hallelujah!
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3: 21-23
This unfurled bud, precursor to a beauty that can now only be imagined, will one day cause our glance to linger on its warmth of color and its uniquely fashioned design. And it will bring us joy that our world contains such bursts of beauty, radiant under the sun’s gaze.
So it is with human souls. Many of us go through each day like unopened buds, self-contained vessels of worry and apprehension, busy with thoughts, chores, the daily pressures of life.
But what if we began each day unfurling our petals? What if our day’s beginning was one of consciously seeking joy, the light of heaven’s gaze upon us, rejoicing in the God who loves us and hears us?
If you’ve ever studied the face of someone who is in the throes of an unadulterated joy that spills out of every pore of their being, what strikes you is how in that instant that person seems to be the very embodiment of what they were created to be. You see them as they “really” are, unique in beauty, uniquely created to enjoy and be enjoyed. Their joy becomes contagious.
Yet such joy has to have a beginning somewhere, a source. That source is God, our Creator. When we like unopened buds, turn our gaze to Him every morning to drink in His love in thanksgiving, our joy in Him floods our hearts. We begin our day fully ourselves, free to praise and adore the God of providence who has blessed us with life and all its beauty, free to confront our worries and our circumstances with courage and fresh joy.
These daily beginnings are monumental. And they give us hope and strength for each new day. More than that, they spread hope in every beholder’s heart. We begin to spread joy and give comfort.
There is nothing more exciting than such a beginning. And any one can do it because it’s simple, priceless, given freely by the God who endowed us with this capacity to rejoice.
Immense and free The wind beneath me Jouissance of gravity A new life convergence Soaring with the water An overflowing hope To carry the air Unbounded by fear Released by Your grace Breathing eternity Love's radiant beauty Dancing in me.
Photo by Joel Valve (Unsplash) for Sadje's What Do you See (For the visually challenged reader,the image shows a girl dancing under the jets of water of a fountain, which are meeting above her in an arc.)
We’re into week three of SYW’s two-parter, with Share Your World meeting the world of Harry Potter. We’re answering Melanie’s muggle-themed queries alongside those of Roger, this time invoking The Prisoner of Azkaban, my favorite of the HP movies. Thus the random, compendium of gifs 😉.
Be sure to check out everyone’s answers and join in the fun!
In Dostoevsky’s Notes from the Underground, we are told rightly that “if [man] is not stupid, he is monstrously ungrateful! Phenomenally ungrateful. In fact, I believe that the best definition of man is the ungrateful biped.”
True, sadly. It’s the reason we allow life to overwhelm us at times. But what if we learned to be more grateful to God, to count the countless blessings He has given us?
Our joy and peace in Him would overflow. I guarantee we would all be less stressed, more ready to give back to God from all that He has given us.
When my children were little I used to teach them a little song about counting our blessings and naming them “one by one.” I hoped to make this a habit not only to lead to a habit of living life in praise to God and trusting in Him to provide, but also to live life with joy as He intended.