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J. S. Bach’s Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring has never ceased to stir my heart.  Of all the renditions, none can grab me so movingly as Josh Groban in his captivating performance with the mesmerizing Lili Hayden on the violin.

Bach wrote the Cantata that contains this excerpt in 1723.  Its lyrics articulate for us what is unspoken in the depth of our souls, releasing our yearnings for a transcendent Creator, magnificent yet compassionate, afar yet ever so near.

Jesu, joy of man’s desiring
Holy wisdom, love most bright

Drawn by Thee, our souls aspiring
Soar to uncreated light

Word of God, our flesh that fashioned
With the fire of life impassioned
Striving still to truth unknown
Soaring, dying round Thy throne

Through the way where hope is guiding
Hark, what peaceful music rings
Where the flock, in Thee confiding
Drink of joy from deathless springs
Theirs is beauty’s fairest pleasure
Theirs is wisdom’s holiest treasure
Thou dost ever lead Thine own
In the love of joys unknown

*****

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