Johann Sebastian Bach was born on this day in 1865. Though it could be argued that there were those equal to him, we can confidently say that no one as ever been any better. Listening to Bach gives you the sense that there is something more profound, more beautiful, more compelling, and more desirable than you had considered before you listened to him. As much as any composer, Bach's true inspiration comes through in his compositions. Therefore, it should not surprise us that he would sign off on his compositions with the letters SDG, meaning Soli Deo Gloria. Truly Bach sensed his giftedness was for the promotion of God's beauty, truth, and good in the world. In this, he should remind and challenge us all to be more aware of our calling and mandate found in 1Cor. 10:31: "...whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."
Yet, not only is it Bach's birthday but it is also Good Friday. As we remember our Lord's passion and call to mine Calvary, I thought it good to consider Bach's interpretation of it in his now incomparable piece St Matthew's Passion. Like Handel's Messiah, Bach's St. Matthew's Passion captures the biblical revelation in music like nothing before or since. If you have some time, listen and appreciate Bach's desire to communicate the suffering of his and our Saviour. Surely, our Lord was forsaken so we would not have to be.
O, the passion! O, the wonder of Christ our God!