“The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.” —J.S. Bach

Bach wrote the initials SDG on all his music manuscripts (Soli Deo Gloria, “To God alone be glory”). He knew what it was to give God all the glory and how to honour God with everything he did.

We visited Lincoln on Monday and I was struck again by the sheer magnificence of the cathedral there, an architectural reflection of this principle that God is worth everything and deserves our very best. To think that these buildings were crafted by stonemasons without all the machinery and technology we take for granted today is amazing.

In the cathedral, instead of the usual ‘stations of the cross’, an artist had made the ‘stations of the forest’, carved from wood. Using wood in an imaginative and innovative way, William Fairbank has created an astonishing set of wood panels involving intricate carving, inlay and juxtaposition of different woods to create a narrative of the journey Jesus makes to the Cross and Resurrection. The picture below is the final carving, symbolising light, illumination, insight and glory.

The Westminster Catechism (another type of creed, intended to help people understand the basics of the Christian faith) says that ‘the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.’ Whether through music, art or architecture, or any other medium you can think of, God alone deserves all the glory.

‘To God Alone’ (Aaron Shust):