Before visiting Germany, I had no idea that Martin Luther played such an influential role in the music and life of Johann Sebastian Bach. Luther believed strongly in the importance of music in church, saying that worship was essentially musical. Bach took his words seriously, creating many works with direct connections to theological and Biblical themes. He kept Luther’s translation of the Bible in his studio and wrote initials signifying “Soli Deo Gloria” (to God alone be glory) on most of his musical compositions.
So today, let’s listen a bit to one of Bach’s sermons in sound. As we do so, I think it’s clear why Bach believed that the beauty of music was a reflection of the beauty of God.