This post late, and shorter than normal.
This past Sunday the church I worked for kicked off our second service. It went well, but was honestly a bit of a nightmare to get going. This was something that we had been planning for a few months, and as it goes quite a few things started falling out of place last minute and in the week or two leading up.
Pastor? Has to go out of town.
Originally it was supposed to be Pastor Kelley leading the kick off, and I was to welcome people, pray, and read the passages. Suddenly I found myself having to plan the service, and figuring everything else out. In doing so, one of the choices I made was to close with the doxology.
For those not in the know (like I was the first time I had encountered it as an adult person in a worship setting) the doxology is a prayer that is sung at times to end worship services. Not just that, but sung in all manners, celebration, death, times of hope, and times of despair. It is one of the few direct lines you can draw to our Jewish roots. The doxology has been compared to the Kaddish which is a prayer sung in synagogues that cite the end of worship (and is used in many different areas of Jewish life).
The version of the doxology I am familiar with goes:
Praise God from whom all blessings flow,
Praise Him all ye creatures here below,
Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts,
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
To be sure, that was not what is considered the “normal” version. But in thinking about this service, I opted to re-pen it for a more inclusive gathering.
Our liturgy matters. Our inclusion matters. Our unwillingness to make an open space more open is creating an idol out of something written in sand.
This ended up being well received in our circle. As usual, I have no real idea what I am doing, I’m just a guy trying to remain faithful and open to what is ahead. But this seemed like a good thing to do. I know this post is disjointed, and I apologize for that, but this is the best I could offer this week.
Grace and peace y’all.