Johann Sebastian Bach, along with other musicians like G.F. Handel, signed many of his compositions with the initials, S.D.G. or "Soli Deo Gloria," a Latin phrase meaning "Glory to God alone." When Bach attached this inscription to the music he had written, he was symbolically and practically giving the work to God with deep gratitude.
So what would it look like if we assigned the phrase to OUR works during this pandemic? When we go to the grocery store to get more food for our families, what if we said under our breath: "Soli Deo Gloria?" When we check in at our job at the hospital, or the doctor's office, or at the drive-up window at our restaurant, what if we silently prayed: "Soli Deo Gloria?" When we log into Zoom for another online Chem Class, what if we said "Soli Deo Gloria," to ourselves before starting? More than likely, a sense of peace that surpasses all understanding would encompass us and our perspective and motives would be better placed. When we are preparing videos for our church's upcoming blended worship service, or when we are taking a walk and waving to our neighbors, or stopping in the driveway to say Hi, or offering to babysit for a weary mom, we can pray, "Soli Deo Gloria." When we FaceTime our grandkids, or stitch a face mask, or run a roll of toilet paper over to a friend who is lacking, or fix a pot of soup for our elderly neighbor, or rise to face yet another day with a household going stir-crazy, try thinking or saying "Soli Deo Gloria," and see what happens!
Bach discovered the secret to a Christ-filled abundant life through these three simple words. And his lifetime output of THE best sacred and classical music transformed an entire culture of music that is still played in symphony halls and cathedrals and universities and churches of all sizes 335 years later. Bach knew that God is the only one worth getting glory. Nothing in this world worth anything can be done without God's gracious help. So, it is only fitting that we offer thanks back to God, through what we do and what we say. For it is when we offer all we do to the Lord, in word or deed, that we live like Christ. "If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God." (Colossians 3:1, 17).
Soli Deo Gloria, my friends! - Tandy