Being Like Bach

Quite often when I write my sermons, I have classical  music playing in the background. Music with lyrics distracts me but it’s nice to have a little background music. As I write, my prayer is always that the words I am writing are from God and give glory to God and God alone.

It seems Johann Sebastian Bach had the same desire. He was born into a musical family in 1685. By the age of 10, both his parents were dead. Early in his friction-filled life, young Johann decided he would write music, but not just music. He wanted his music to be for the glory of God. 

Most of Bach’s works are explicitly Biblical. Albert Schweitzer referred to him as “The Fifth Evangelist,” comparing him to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. At age 17, Bach became the organist at the church and soon after that, was given charge of the entire music ministry.

During his ministry in Weimar, Germany, he wrote a new cantata every month. And during one three-year period he wrote, conducted, orchestrated, and performed a new cantata every week! Quite prolific, I would say.

No one had any idea at that time what a mark Bach would leave. His legacy lives on and I’m sure no one reading this would not be familiar with Bach’s music.  

At the beginning of every authentic manuscript, Bach wrote the letters “J.J.” This stands for Jesu Java (Jesus help me). At the end of each original manuscript you will find the letters “S.D.G.” This stands for Soli Deo Gloria (to the glory of God).

Being Human connection: Oh, that our lives would be framed in the same way. That all we did and said would call upon Jesus to help us and that it would be to the glory to God.

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God. -1 Corinthians 10:31

“Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, And gather you from the west. I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ And to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth. Everyone who is called by my name and whom I have created for my glory, whom I have formed, even whom I have made.” –Isaiah 43:5-7