I just finished reading some World History to my kids, and as part of that, we covered the Baroque period of music, which includes J.S. Bach.
Obscure during his lifetime (supposedly local butchers wrapped their meat in copies of his music), later generations discovered the genius of his musical style. A very prolific composer, he wrote over 200 cantatas and several oratorios, beside organ, chamber, and orchestral music.
What intrigued me most about him, however, was how he began and ended each of his sacred manuscripts. On the first page he would usually write the initials J.J. which stood for “Jesu Juva”, or “Jesus Help”. And on the last page he would write S.D.G., standing for “Soli Deo Gloria”, which means “To God Be The Glory”.
What a testimony to how a Christian fiction writer should proceed! At the beginning, “God Help” and at the end “Glory To God”.
Can either of the two exist without the other? I think not. If we are not consciously aware of God’s help, how can we properly give him the glory? If we do not give him the glory, were we really aware of his help?
Do you think J.S. Bach prayed while he composed? It would appear so. If he was properly conscious at the beginning of his need for God’s help, he certainly prayed for God’s help while in process.
And this should be our attitude:
- Pray For God’s Will (should I do this?)
- Pray For God’s Help (be humble)
- Pray For God’s Inspiration (be moved)
- Praise God When You Are Done (be joyful)
And the final lesson form J.S. Bach?
Even the secular pursuit of fiction writing can bring glory to God!