One drop of water on a rock has little impact, however a constant dripping will subsequently put on a hollow right into a apparently impenetrable stone. Singing the Doxology each week is like getting a constant drip of life-giving Trinitarian water over hardened hearts.
James K. A. Smith, in Desiring the Kingdom, reminds us that the very shape and rituals of worship have a shaping impact on us. We don’t simply come to be greater godly through mastering the theology of the songs and imbibing the propositional content material of the sermon. Our goals and habits, as we pass alongside the course of the liturgy, are formed to greater subconsciously and instinctively pass alongside the path of that course. For instance, I had been in a context wherein I actually have skilled the equal weekly liturgy of Confession, Assurance, and Repentance for over ten years now. I now discover that I actually have new instincts and goals after I slip into sin. With almost Pavlovian certainty, my coronary heart drops to its knees, I renowned it earlier than God, I hold forth the coolest information to my coronary heart of God’s guarantee of my pardon via Christ, and I discover extra energy to show and re-dedicate myself to God’s service. Repeated liturgy makes you adore it and stay it each day of the week. There are many stuff that we may want to factor out approximately the shaping impact of the Doxology. I will point out three.
First, the Doxology shapes us into complete worshipers.
Praise God from whom all advantages flow,Praise Him, all creatures right here below;
The first line offers us the “why” of worship (due to what He does). But subsequent is the “who.” First, “all creatures” are summoned to God’s reward, and abruptly our minds are blown approximately the truth that worship isn’t simply a human hobby. It is an hobby of all advent. Before the fall, come what may all advent turned into greater attuned to the worship of God, and there has been a feel of unity among humans and advent withinside the act of worship. ”Praise Him, all creatures right here below” is a summons closer to fall-reversal, pronouncing to the earth, “Return, and worship the One who made you.”
When we recognize this, making a song this weekly shapes us right into a humans disappointed with a hyper difference among sacred and secular. We come to be a individuals who grate in opposition to our society’s bifurcation of our private, non-public faith and our public self. God’s call for for worship has identical authority in our schools, homes, and places of work because it does withinside the sanctuary. Our worship is complete, due to the fact the summons isn’t “Praise Him, all Christians right here below.” We come to be a individuals who are captivated with the reclamation and go back of all of the earth’s worship to its rightful Owner and Object.
Second, the Doxology blows open the supernatural nature of worship.
When we start worship, I will frequently begin through reminding congregants that today’s worship attendance numbers are large than they appear. If the oldsters tallying our worship depend were really being honest, each week, they’d write “myriads upon myriads.” Revelation 4-5 reminds us that once we input into accumulated worship on earth, we step into the already transferring circulation of the perpetual worship of heaven – the elders, the heavenly beings, the white-robed martyrs, the saints which have long past earlier than. In the Doxology, we sing:
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host.
The Doxology does now no longer permit us to tally worship attendance primarily based totally on who’s visible bodily withinside the room. We are compelled outward and upward. The Doxology shapes us into heavenly worshipers. The antiphonal, back-and-forth calls leap from heaven to earth: “Hey angels, reward Him!” “No, you earthlings, you reward Him.” It’s an inspiring imaginative and prescient that isn’t with out impact. The Doxology tunes us in to heavenly worshipers, shattering our culture’s implicit naturalism. We’re now no longer allowed to be a individuals who can belly the belief that each one we see is all there is. We are a humans who’ve been locations you can’t see and contact however are despite the fact that simply as actual as our terra firma (or possibly, as John Jefferson Davis might argue in Worship and the Reality of God, even greater actual).
Third, the Doxology makes us a Trinitarian humans.
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Is the Trinity simply an esoteric theological construct, or does it have existential import? In different words, what excellent is it to us in our day after day lives that our God is one, but three? To tease out simply one implication, it reminds us that due to the fact God exists in interdependent network, so need to we. The Doxology demanding situations our American rugged individualism. It shapes us right into a individuals who crave network and genuine relationship, due to the fact such goals replicate the coronary heart of our brilliant Triune God. The Doxology beats “Lone Ranger Christianity” out of us. Each week we sing it, our individualistic selves acquire some other blow that reminds us, “You aren’t enough.” The Doxology makes us greater instinctively Trinitarian, and consequently instinctively communal. This, in turn, enables us to cope with sin and to develop in Christ. Authentic network simply does that.
So how are we able to worship leaders permit this shaping to take extra impact? If we lead and sing the Doxology weekly, we are able to pause for twenty seconds earlier than we sing it and proportion one perception like a number of what’s above. We can possibly ship out a “fee added” e mail to our congregation throughout the week approximately what the Doxology does to us. And we are able to virtually minister the Doxology to oldsters in our one-on-one conferences and pastoring. Things like those assist make the implicit shaping grow to be greater specific formation. Who knew that a lot might be packed into 4 lines?