Luther and Bach
In Luther’s Day, vocatio, Latin for “calling,” only applied to church work. Monks, nuns, and priests all had a calling, a special task. Others simply worked. Luther applied vocation to all the professions and to all the various roles that we play. Being a husband, son, or father or wife or daughter or mother was a calling. So too was being a farmer or a miner or a stonemason. All of life could be and should be lived for the glory of God alone.
Later a German musician would subscribe to this teaching of Luther. So Johann Sebastian Bach would sign his pieces, both pieces commissioned for the church and his so-called secular works, SDG … SDG stands for Soli Deo Gloria. Luther and Bach, both significant figures from the pages of history, remind us that in our seemingly ordinary work and life we are doing something extraordinary. When we live life, all of it, for the glory of God, we are engaged in the most profound activities. We are doing something that matters truly and ultimately. In the service of the glory of God there is nothing little at all.
- Stephen J. Nichols