Spend thirty days reflecting on the beauty of the liturgy of Holy Communion. Each day, Greg Goebel reflects on one part of the Sunday liturgy, with Scripture readings and a thought for the day ahead. This devotional ebook is a gift to all of our Patreon supporters who give at any level. It will be published in January 2021, a gift to anyone who supports us this year. Check out the sample below!
Spending a few minutes each day with the Liturgy of Holy Communion (BCP 2019) will help us better experience the love of Christ each Sunday as we gather virtually or in-person. The beauty of prayer book worship is unfolds as we slow down and prayerfully meditate on each aspect of the service. Join me in thirty days of reflection that will draw us closer to Christ and then “send us out to do the work he has called us to do.”
Day 7: The Gloria in Excelsis
“Seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.”
Readings: Luke 2:8-14; John 1:29-34; Colossians 3:1
The Gloria goes all the way back to the earliest days of the ancient Church. It is a hymn of praise to Christ. In fact, the Roman governor Pliny the Younger wrote around A.D. 112 that Christians gather and “sing a hymn to Christ as to a god.” They may have been singing the Gloria.
The Gloria incorporates several themes from Holy Scripture. The angels who announced Christ’s birth. The preaching of John the Baptist. The ascension of Christ to the Father’s right hand. And it also shows us that from the earliest days of the Church, Jesus was worshipped as God.
Article 2 says that “that two whole and perfect Natures, that is to say, the Godhead and Manhood, were joined together in one Person” in Jesus. Jesus is fully God and fully human. This is why we worship Christ “as a god” as Pliny the Younger rightly understood. He is God. He is human. Glory to God in the highest.
The Gloria is the gold standard of what Christian songwriting. It is Trinitarian, Christ centered, and it reminds us of our salvation. It is also evangelistic, because it focuses us on the Lamb of God who “takes away the sin of the world.” We have a message to share with the nations! Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. He is the Savior of the world, glorified with God the Father and God the Spirit for all eternity. He is your Savior.
Today, take a moment to sing a hymn of worship, praise, and thanksgiving to Christ. Glorify him by reciting his wondrous deeds. Take yourself back to the banks of the Jordan river where John the Baptist announced him. Go to his cross and his tomb. Climb the mountain where Jesus ascended. Then pray a prayer to him. He will receive your prayer.