As the Bridegroom to His Chosen

It has been quite a long while since I have posted. Over my life as a regular “journaler” I have found it is often the case that when I have been particularly busy, I find it difficult to find time to “write it all down”. Sadly this usually coincides with the most profound or important events of my life. It is easy to miss the opportunity to record our most precious earthly moments. A lesson in it for us all, I imagine. And so it has been the case with me. I have had the greatest blessing of joining millions who have feasted on the words of a living prophet, modern-day apostles and other inspired leaders this month. Priceless instruction and words of encouragement have been poured out to the world at the semi-annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (April 5 – 6, 2008).

I promise to give my thoughts on several of those talks in near future posts. However tonight I would like to share a musical moment which has touched my soul, and hopefully will be of worth to yours.

Johannes Tauler

This past weekend, we performed John Rutter’s exquisite setting of “As the Bridegroom to His Chosen“. The text for this hymn is taken from a poem written by the 14th Century German Dominican, Johannes Tauler (1300-1361). I found myself reading and re-reading these words, and pondering the beauty of the similes. There is often deep meaning couched in simplicity, and this poem is certainly an embodiment. Further study and reading on Tauler’s life and teachings enhanced my respect and indeed reverence for this sincere and devoted man. I am a bit embarrassed to admit that I had never heard of Johannes Tauler until this week. I have since learned that he is not only revered by the Catholic faith, who rightly claim him among their devout, but also hailed by Protestants who feel his passionate call to personal spiritualism placed him among the “reformers before the Reformation”. It is believed that Martin Luther himself was influenced by the teachings of Tauler. If you are interested in learning more I highly recommend reading Mary Brian Durkin’s fascinating and fluent online article.

Tauler urged his followers to seek the Holy Spirit in their daily lives through personal prayer, meditation, good works and service. He spoke often of reaching deep into the “inner self” to find our Heavenly Father, and that taking personal responsibility for our relationship with Him is essential.

God is closer to us than we are to ourselves (ser. 24)

Tauler associated with the Friends of God (medieval mystics), and he taught his belief that the state of the soul is affected more by a personal relationship with God than by external rituals.

God touches and moves, warns and desires all equally, and He wants one quite as much as another. The inequality lies in the way in which His touch, His warnings, and His gifts are received. Often when He comes, He finds the soul occupied. Other guests are there, and He has to turn away. He cannot gain entry, for we love and desire other things; therefore, His gifts, which He is offering to everyone unceasingly, must remain outside. This is the cause of our eternal loss and of our backwardness. It is our fault, not God’s” (ser. 20)

Sadly, Tauler succumbed to the plague at age 61. However his words live on and are as relevant to our modern world as they were so many centuries before. Thanks to the blessing of John Rutter’s musical gift, Johannes Tauler’s beautiful & timeless poem will continue to lift and inspire for centuries to come. I find as I have “looked inward” this week the Spirit has whispered to keep writing my own impressions and insights just as Johannes did so many centuries before. Because someone took the time to preserve Tauler’s personal testimonies of Christ, there was a lasting influence. I encourage all of us to set aside a moment amidst the “busyness” of mortality to write down how the Lord has blessed us personally. May we add to the faith of our children and grandchildren to come, and not let our story be forgotten.


Listen To: “As The Bridegroom To His Chosen” – arranged by John Rutter

As the Bridegroom to His Chosen

As the bridegroom to his chosen, as the king unto his realm,
As the keeper to the castle, as the pilot to the helm.
As the captain to his soldiers, as the shepherd to his lambs,
So, Lord, art thou to me.
As the fountain in the garden, as the candle in the dark,
As the treasure in the coffer, as the manna in the ark,
As the firelight in the winter, As the sunlight in the spring
So Lord art thou to me.
As the music at the banquet, as the stamp unto the seal,
As refreshment to the fainting, as the wine-cup at the meal,
As the singing on the feast day, as the amen to the prayer,
So Lord art thou to me.
As the ruby in the setting, as the honey in the comb
As the light within the lantern, as the father in the home,
As the eagle in the mountains, as the sparrow in the nest,
So Lord art thou to me.
As the sunshine in the heavens, as the image in the glass,
As the fruit unto the fig tree, as the dew unto the grass,
As the rainbow on the hilltop, as the river in the plain,
So Lord art thou to me.

9 thoughts on “As the Bridegroom to His Chosen

  1. musical missionary,

    Delighted to find your site and a few of your posts today. There are so many things I am immediately drawn to – let me try to express appreciation and respect and praise for a few.

    Quality: it’s more than a little obvious that you take pride in the quality of what you do; whether in singing, writing, or in your personal faith.

    An Independent Thinker: you are thinking through the big issues of life for yourself based on your personal faith. Not afraid to risk wrestling with hard issues.

    Spirituality: you are being yourself aren’t you? you are passionate in blogging as “musical missionary”. And you have connected with me almost immediately.

    I am just getting started with blog-three weeks now. I need all the help I can get so I’m adding folks initially to my blogroll that I would like to develop conversations with. I’ve added you as a Mormon, a worthy blog for those of us who are non-Mormons, to learn what your Faith is through your eyes.

    John Paul Todd
    e4unity.wordpress.com

  2. Thank you John!

    Welcome to wordpress. I feel truly blessed by your visit to my site and kind words. It is an honor to have you as a new friend. I look forward to reading your blog indepth. From what I have read so far it is a beautiful place! I certainly recommend it to all my readers. There are rewarding conversations ahead for us.

    I believe that God always brings people into our lives for a purpose. For lack of a better analogy, He gives us each a circle of influence which interconnects with other circles. One by one we can spread light, peace and understanding into a troubled world. The blogging world is in special need of some light therapy!

  3. While listening to the sacred rendition of Johannes Tauler’s poem set to music, sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, I was touched by the beauty and simplicity of the words and the melody.

    Such a contrast to some of the music we are introduced to today.

    Thank you for the history of this inspired author of this great poem… All who sought for truth were surely touched by the spirit during that pre-restoration period of time. This is evidenced by the message that we have heard.

    I feel enlightened by your insights, thank you.

  4. Mormon Soprano, I LOVE your blog!! I just stumbled upon it a couple of weeks ago, and I have been so impressed with your writing and testimony. What a good example of obeying Elder Ballard’s counsel to join in “the Conversation” on the web!
    I want to ask your permission to use material from this post for a special post I am doing. My little son Benjamin died last November–today he would be 10 months old. This song has meant so much to me, as I have worked through these last months of grief. My friendship with my Savior has grown so much, and I am profoundly grateful to Him and for Him. May I use some of this post to express my love for Jesus Christ?…
    Thanks again!
    Michelle

  5. Michelle, Thank you for your kind comment. I am so glad you enjoy the site. It means a lot. I am so sorry for the loss of your son. A good way to use material here is to do a track back to my posts. My source material or personal writing should be cited/referenced when used with appropriate links. I will respond to you personally on your other personal request. Thank you for sharing your faith with us.

  6. Pingback: As a Bride Groom Cometh - LDS Mormon Forums

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