The Christian Almanac records that on March 21st, 1685 Johann Sebastian Bach was born in Eisenarch, Thuringia (modern day Germany). Bach was a master composer who is remembered for his artistic brilliance as well as his diligent labor. After the 45 years it took to compile and organize the fruit of Bach’s labors, his musical compositions filled some sixy volumes, all work done while filling the occupations of organist, conductor, musical director of church services, and teaching lessons to boys. Throughout his life, Bach received no widespread fame or fortune. He faced the struggles of the death of his first wife, death of children, difficult financial circumstances, not to mention various conflicts with church officials and eventual blindness. Nevertheless, Bach’s prodigous productivity proves a life of faithfulness and diligence. When asked about his work, he replied, “I worked hard.” And from his labor came some of the best-crafted and most lovely music in music history. “The Saint Matthew Passion,” “Mass in B-minor,” “The Brandenburg Concertos,” and hundreds of other pieces were written and crafted throughout his life. But it would be some 80 years after the master artisan’s death before his music would gain renown, influence, and fame proving Bach’s conviction that honest work is blessed simply by being done before the Lord and for his glory. And thus he always noted at the end of every composition, “Soli Deo Gloria,” To God alone belongs all the glory.
May God give us diligence in our labors and bless us as we work before him and for his glory.
The sermon text for this Sunday will be Exodus 5, and our other lessons will be from Phil. 3:8-14 and Luke 20:9-19.