BACH Herr Jesu Christ, wahr’ Mensch und Gott, BWV 127
BACH Brich dem Hungrigen dein Brot, BWV 39
BACH Du sollt Gott, deinen Herren, lieben, BWV 77
To be announced.
Bach composed Brich dem Hungrigen dein Brot, BWV 39 ("Give the hungry ones thy bread") for the First Sunday after Trinity on June 23, 1726—significantly for Bach, three years to the day after he assumed the office of Thomaskantor in Leipzig. The first Sunday after Trinity marks the beginning of the second half of the liturgical year, in which core issues of faith and doctrine are typically explored. The cantata takes its principal texts from Isaiah 58:7–8 (Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; The Lord shall be your rear guard.) and Hebrews 13:16 (Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.)—both clear exhortations to love your neighbour and to share God's gifts.
Du sollt Gott, deinen Herren, lieben, BWV 77 ("You shall love God, your Lord") focuses on the prescribed reading for the thirteenth Sunday after Trinity. This is the Sunday that features the reading of the parable of the Good Samaritan and the Great Commandment, which is used as the text of the first movement. Bach composed the cantata in his first year as Thomaskantor in Leipzig—three years earlier than BWV 39.
Herr Jesu Christ, wahr’ Mensch und Gott, BWV 127 ("Lord Jesus Christ, true Man and God") is on an entirely different theological plane -- it's about the divinity of Christ. Bach composed the cantata in 1725 for use on the Sunday before Lent. The prescribed readings for the Sunday were taken from Paul's letter to the toubled church of Corinth (1 Corinthians 13:1–13), and from the Gospel of Luke, in which Jesus foretells his death and resurrection to his twelve desciples for the third time, and heals a blind man near Jericho (Luke 18:31–43).