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Doxology for the First of May

Why call it a "doxology?" The definition is "an expression of praise to God (usually liturgical)"

Why give praise to God that today is the first of May? Several reasons. The most obvious reason for 2020 is that we are emerging from a very dark and frightening time in the world. Alabama's governor is taking a very cautious approach to reopening our state, but at least throughout the course of the month of May and beyond, our economic situation should begin to recover. Also, if you've been reading my blog for a while now, you know that I like to declare the month of May as mine. :) Mother's Day, my birthday, the birthdays of three other family members and graduations all fall in the month -- causes for celebration. Flowers bloom, temperatures warm up, fresh strawberries and vegetables begin to appear in the markets, and everyone's mood improves. It could be my imagination, but that's the way it looks to me. All are great reasons to express our praise and gratitude to God.

Did you know that what we call "the Doxology" is actually the ELEVENTH verse of a hymn written in the 17th century by an Anglican priest named Thomas Ken? I know. Me either.

When I was growing up, that last verse was what we stood and sang when the ushers went back down the aisle after gathering the offering.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow

Praise Him all creatures here below

Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts

Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost

Last Sunday, Steve and I were watching the online service from our son's church at 9:00 a.m., and the praise team began singing those familiar words. But then, they continued, using the same tune.

Praise God the Father, holy Lord

The heavens and the earth are Yours

Almighty King upon the throne

Creation sings Your praise alone.

Praise God the Son, the spotless Lamb

Who takes away the sin of man

Triumphant over death and grave

Your name forever shall remain.

Praise God the spirit, Promised One

The presence of Our Lord with us

Pour out your power in this place

We worship you, we stand amazed.

Praise God for all that He has done.

Who was and is and is to come.

All those redeemed by mercy's love

Lift praises to the Three in One.

Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

I was transfixed by the beauty and power of ALL the words, as well as with the arrangement the praise team used. I got in touch with Brad Cleveland, the worship leader, and asked about the composer. The verses after the first one were written and the whole song was arranged by Cliff Duren, an incredibly talented man now at First Baptist Church, Woodstock, Georgia, but formerly the worship leader in Station Hill, Tennessee. Read about him here. THREE DOVE AWARDS. Wow!

Hear the song as it was shared at The Church at West Franklin on Sunday, April 26. It is the first song after the opening prayer and announcements.

Look at those words again. Praise God the Father, Holy Lord. Praise God the Son, the spotless lamb. Praise God the Spirit, Promised One. The Trinity. Then that final verse: Praise God for all that He has done. (We could list His blessings for days on end). Who was and is and is to come. (He's coming back!). Our response? All those redeemed by mercy's love -- lift praises to the Three in One.

So that's why I'm sharing this doxology on the first day of May.

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