Dear friends,

At Church of the Messiah, we follow the Anglican way of worshipping Jesus. This means, among other things, that we seek to continue the legacy of the Church in her worship. Since the Church has a 2,000 year history, many traditions have arisen – some good and some bad. As Protestants following Jesus the Anglican way, we want to utilize the good traditions passed down to us, as long as “they may be proved by most certain warrants of holy Scripture” (Article VIII. Of the Three Creeds). One of the traditions we continue is concluding certain portions of our liturgy (that do not have a formal conclusion on their own) with the Gloria Patri, “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be. World without end. Amen.” This declaration arose in the 4th century after the council of Nicea solidified the doctrine of the Trinity. Now just because it’s a church tradition doesn’t mean it’s good. So, how would this declaration fair under the scrutiny of the Bible?

The term “glory” can be understood as the weight of importance given to something. In our human experience, we attribute glory to things we love and see as beautiful – things that are of ultimate significance to us. According to the Bible, the source of glory is God who in his essence and character defines good and worth. We were created to give glory to God but have fallen into sin, neglecting the glory of God (Rom. 1:18-32) but we are saved to give glory to God (2 Cor. 4:5-6). Therefore, as we meet together in worship, we should give glory to God together.

Going further, we need to give glory to God in truth, as he revealed himself. Jesus, the Son of God, gave a formula recorded in Matthew 28:19, commanding to baptize “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Therefore, we give glory to the one true God who is three eternal persons in one substance. This unites the Church in her witness and faithfulness to God, especially against false teachings that deny the divine nature of Jesus or of the Holy Spirit. For this same reason, the last line of the Gloria Patri is crucial: “As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be. World without end. Amen.” The Triune God existed in the splendor of glory from all eternity and will be glorified by his people forever (i.e. world without end).

As we follow Jesus the Anglican way at Church of the Messiah, we seek to learn giving glory to God together in something as routine as liturgy so that in the routine moments of life, we will also be aware of God’s glory. We seek to give glory to God for his grace and mercy, that he, out of the abundance of his love for us, revealed himself by sending his Son as the only Mediator to save us from our sins. Praise and glory be to God!

Jonathan