This week’s Easter Psalm is number 31, which reminds us of God’s stability: the Lord is a rock of refuge and a strong fortress. Martin Luther based his “mighty fortress” hymn on Psalm 46, but the themes in Psalm 31 echo and remind us of Luther’s composition. Written in about 1530, the hymn caught the imagination and voices of the early reformation across Europe, and was translated into English as early as 1539. In 1723, J. S. Bach incorporated the tune and lyric into his cantata for Reformation Day. Playlist #111 features works that include (but maybe disguise!) this familiar tune. Can you find it?
Psalm 31:1-5, 14-16 (NRSV)
In you, O Lord, I seek refuge;
do not let me ever be put to shame;
in your righteousness deliver me. Incline your ear to me;
rescue me speedily. Be a rock of refuge for me,
a strong fortress to save me. You are indeed my rock and my fortress;
for your name’s sake lead me and guide me, take me out of the net that is hidden for me,
for you are my refuge. Into your hand I commit my spirit;
you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God. But I trust in you, O Lord;
I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hand;
deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors. Let your face shine upon your servant;
save me in your steadfast love.