Have you ever noticed how quiet it is in an art gallery? It’s almost as if people are. . . searching for something.
[My friend theologian T. M. Moore] tells a wonderful story about Johann Sebastian Bach, the great eighteenth-century composer. Now Bach loved his coffee. And in honor of his passion, he wrote the “Coffee Cantata,” which involved a funny drama about a father and daughter arguing over the daughter’s love for the bean. The music itself, T. M. says, is as rich and beautiful as any of Bach’s famous sacred pieces.
And that was on purpose. “For Bach,” T. M. writes, “even the most ordinary things of life could convey a message of divine glory and pleasure, even your morning cup of coffee. Great art functions like this, taking as its focus common . . . subjects and using them, in the setting of a big, sweeping vision, to communicate a simple message.
“In Christian art,” T. M. continues “whether the images are saints and martyrs or a parental dispute with a daughter over the supposed evils of coffee, the message remains the same: Life has meaning and beauty when it is lived within the framework of the overarching majesty, goodness, and love of God.”