Try and forget all the billions of times you have heard this at weddings. Try to imagine this when it was fresh, and was straight from the soul of a composer the likes of whom Western Civilization has not seen since. He has toiled all week for a new Cantata, he brings in the parts, hands them to the boys choir, the instrumentalist, and after the Communion is observed, this Praise to God the Son echoes off the glorious stone and Marble walls of that German Church, filled to the brim with worshipers.
These words struck me today and brought me to tears. So listen and try to forget weddings, and think only of the one whom it exhalts. It may not be your thing, but what a great offering.
Jesus, 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
It is well for me that I have Jesus
Steadfastly I cling to him
That he may refresh my spirit
When I am sad and sorrowful,
I have Jesus, he loves me
And gives himself for me;
Therefore I can never leave him,
Though my heart should break.