Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise God all creatures here below. Praise God above ye heavenly hosts. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
I always assumed that the Doxology had its origins as a hymn from the ancient church. My assumption comes from the title. In Greek “Doxa” means to praise and “Theo” means God. I can’t tell you how many times a day my Greek Aunt Litsa would cross herself and say “Doxa Theo” giving praise to God for something she experienced or something she had observed, but it was an impressive daily number! And it certainly was formative to my childhood and my faith. When we sing the Doxology, we sing it in response to our gratitude for our blessings from God. It turns out the Doxology is part of a larger hymn written by Thomas Ken and published in the late 1600s. There were nine verses in all! Each was intended to be sung at different times throughout the day, helping the faithful to be mindful of their many blessings from God. The last verse, the one we know as the Doxology, was intended to culminate the day and give thanks to God almighty for all that we have.
Sunday following worship we have the opportunity to gather together with brothers and sisters in Christ and say “Doxa Theo” for all our many blessings: for our church, for families, and for our friends in Christ as we gather together for Friendsgiving. The meal will take place in Grace Hall. The church will provide meat and we are asking everyone to bring well filled baskets of your favorite Thanksgiving sides and desserts to share with everyone. We hope that you will be able to join us.
A dear friend of mine passed away this summer. He had a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease. The Doxology was his favorite hymn and like my Greek aunt, he mentioned it often. When it became too cumbersome to text the lyrics he cleverly found a way to get his point across. “PGFWABF”. In this season of thanks, I want to encourage you to start a trend. Every day, throughout the day, take the time to recognize the ways you are being blessed by God and give thanks.