On the email signature of Salvation Army’s policy analyst, Ronji Tanielu (Social Policy and Parliamentary Unit), I noticed the Latin phrase Soli Deo Gloria! It means: Glory to God Alone!
This motto is directly linked to the Protestant Reformation, where Christianity was summarised by five Sola Scriptura: we are saved by Christ alone, by faith alone, by grace alone, Scripture alone is our final authority and all Glory belongs to God alone. Not only was the Latin phrase notable in the Reformation, but it was also used as a ‘signature’ at the end of famous artistic works and compositions in the past.
In 1741, German-born composer, George Handel, was asked to undertake a benefit concert in Dublin. He worked feverishly day and night for three weeks on a new oratorio called the Messiah. Once he had finished the score, he wrote Soli Deo Gloria at the bottom of the work and exclaimed, ‘I think God has visited me’.
Although the composition is traditionally linked to Christ’s birth at Christmas, only a third of Messiah is about the birth. The second and third act are about the death and resurrection of Jesus. As such, the oratorio was originally written as a work for Easter and was premiered during Lent.
The church is now preparing for the time leading up to Easter and we will soon celebrate Palm Sunday and Holy Week. This season, just like the famous artistic offerings of the past, may we too bring glory to God alone, and, as you read about the lives of our people in this edition of War Cry, you will see lives who have and are bringing glory to God alone.
Prayer is not learned in a classrom but in the closet.
E. M. Bounds
Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.
Ā, e ruia ana ngā hua o te tika i roto i te rangimārie mā te hunga hohou rongo.