English: Jesus, I Long for your Blessed Communion
Norwegian: JEsu, din søte forening at smage
Text: Johan Ludvig Conrad Allendorf, (1693-1773) tr. in Danish, Peder Hygom (1692-1764) Tune: Folk tune from Ryfylke
1. Jesus, I long for your blessed communion,
Yearning possesses my heart and my mind.
Break down all barriers that hinder my union.
Draw me to you, O Redeemer most kind!
Show me now clearly my need that is crying.
Show me the pain of the wrongs that I do.
That unto sin I may daily be dying,
And in the Spirit live only to you.
2. Quicken my soul thro’ your blood and your merit.
Send me your Spirit and help me to prove
I am your captive in soul and in spirit.
Lead me and draw me to you with your love.
Come, let my heart from all idols be severed;
So that you only can dwell in my soul.
Grant me your peace that continues forever,
Peace beyond all I can fathom or know.
3. O that I only might learn consecration,
Fully surrender my heart day by day!
O that my Jesus might be my sole portion,
I am, alas! All too far, far away.
Jesus, whose voice full of love’s gentle warning,
Gladly I follow, O give me your hand,
That in pure holiness, faith’s bright adorning,
Like a true Christian I walk to the end.
4. Jesus, O hear now your dove’s gentle cooing!
Shepherd, go seek the lost, wandering lamb!
You that have won me by love’s tender wooing
Cleanse now my heart from its sin and its shame.
May I not be like a sepulchre whited,
Fair and all beautiful outside alone:
But may your law in my heart be indicted,
That in full truth I may call me your own.
5. Jesus, when shall I find rest in your haven?
Take up my burden, Lord, lift it from me!
When shall I see you, my Savior, in heaven?
Waken and quiet the wild, troubled sea.
O loving Jesus, come help me, be speedy;
Hide not your face from me, always be near.
You are the wealth of the inwardly needy.
Come, fill my heart with your mercy and cheer.
6. Jesus, let not my love go unrequited:
See my poor soul growing weary, O Lord,
Let us, Immanuel, now be united,
When you are with me, my soul is restored.
Once you did say, “They will hunger and perish,
If I permit them to go on their way!”
Love everlasting! Refuse not to nourish
Souls that are hung’ring for crumbs for today.
7. Merciful Jesus, I pray, hear my pleading.
Do not forget what you said in your word:
“Ask and receive; you will find when you seek me.
This you have said, and your people have heard.
I, like the woman at Cana, keep pleading,
Crying to you till my longing is stilled.
And you have spoken with grace to my needing,
“Amen, yes, Amen; be done as you will.”
Tr. Carl Døving; Georg Rygh, alt
Jesus’ encounter with the Canaanite woman is one of the more troubling of all that we find in the Gospels. Jesus seems brusque and otherwise engaged with his own people, not foreigners. His sentence “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs,” makes us cringe. Is he comparing this woman to a dog? Commentators over the years have tried to make the text say what it isn’t saying. But that is not fruitful. Luther took it straight on and marveled at the woman’s faith. She had heard of Jesus, believes in him and makes him hold to his mission, indeed widen it. Faith is refusing to believe bad things about Jesus, one scholar says.
One can also hear in this encounter some theological banter. While we hear dogs in a perjorative sense in this saying, such as "going to the dogs," we are a people who, on the whole, love man’s best friends and make them part of the family. When the woman hears the word "dogs" she takes that phrase and lawyer-like uses it—dogs around the family table get the crumbs. So I am part of the family to whom you were sent, she says.
Jesus agrees with her logic immediately and remarks on the faith of the woman. “Be it done for you as you desire!” That is a surprising statement. All that she wants and desires will come true: the daughter is healed! "Amen, yes, amen, be done as you will!"
Faith clings and is busy, fussing and arguing, complaining, doubting and contending with the Lord, but never giving up on him. "You promised!"
This is the one hymn I know that deals with the Canaanite woman. The writer of the hymn for today shows us how rich and complicated our prayers can be. The hymn is drenched in Scripture: the better portion that Mary chose at Bethany, hypocrites as whited sepulchres, the feeding of the five thousand, the calming of the storm at sea, the Good Shepherd seeking the lost, the Canaanite woman. As we pound away at a difficult text, Luther says, we will find the sweet meat of the gospel. Strange isn’t it, how delving into a Scriptural passage we may not like profits us much!
The hymn, which Hans Nielsen Hauge (1771-1824), sang before he had his experience plowing in the fields on April 5, 1796, had been cherished among Norwegians and Norwegian Americans ever since. We are not sure which tune he used, although there are some good guesses. Hauge’s experience and his work as an evangelist utterly changed Norway and Norwegians. The tune most favored today is the folk tune Ryfylke, an area northeast of Stavanger. The original German text by Allendorf was "Jesus--Sophia! ich suche und verlange/Mit dir alleine verbanden zu sein/Jesus, Sophia! I seek and demand to be connected to you.” The pietists often thought of Jesus as wisdom—Sophia—and Matthew’s gospel is filled with hints of Jesus as wisdom. Hygom, a Danish cleric, translated it into Danish and it became popular after it was published in Pontoppidan’s 1740 hymnal. It can be found in the Lutheran Hymnary 1913 and the Concordia 1932.
THE CANAANITE WOMAN AND HER DAUGHTER
In a far country, out of Israel, Jesus meets a woman who believes He is “the Lord, the Son of David.” She yells For him to heal her daughter; she needs reprieve. The demon never lets her rest; her cries Irritate the disciples who beg the Lord To send her away. He’s silent. Then replies, “I was not sent to you.” She sinks to the floor, “Help me!” A cry as plaintive as it gets. “Even the dogs eat the table crumbs!” Her faith surprises him. He sees a net Singing across the waters, the kingdom come. Her parable opens him to all the earth, Stunned as she sees his wonder show its worth.
Matthew 15:21–28; Matthew 28:19–20; Romans 15:8
LINK for Jesus the Harmony
Knut Nystedt choral arrangement
Sondre Bratland—He is Norway’s expert in using quarter tones common in folk tunes