- That grasp of doxology desperately needs to be recovered in many churches today. The great irony of course is that many churches are obsessed with doxology (praise and worship) and yet somehow the real thing seems to elude them. They become more and more focused on new songs and innovative approaches; but while these may excite the emotions, they somehow fail to lift our spirit heavenwards. Paul's answer to that is the gospel. It is only as we truly grasp (as he says later on in Ephesians) just how wide, long, high and deep is the love of God for us in Christ that our hearts are genuinely thrilled into adoration.
The symptom, he notes, is obsession over relevant musical innovation that potentially produces good music but not necessarily real worship. The prescription is the gospel. What could be truer?
I have led enough corporate worship to feel the frustration of a disinterested congregation. This always stuns me. Perhaps the music is far worse than I perceive? Perhaps my vocal ability, which I consider average-at-best, is rather worse than that? Why else would "Before the Throne of God Above" (to name one favorite) not grip the hearts of my brothers and sisters singing with me? But then, the same problem exists when others lead at our church, so it must not be just my problem.
The only conclusion I can come to is that we do not appreciate the gospel enough. I find this problem in myself when I am not engaged in the musical worship: I have been willfully sinning, or I have neglected to commune with God through prayer and Scripture that day, or my mind is occupied with other affairs. Whatever the combination of these or other issues, I have shifted my gaze from Christ's work on my behalf.
What we need is gospel-saturation. We need every part of our congregational meetings to be filled with gospel. We need to read Scripture, of which the gospel is the center. We need to pray, which we can only do confidently because of the gospel. We need to sing about the gospel. Since every Christian is a priest, we need to guide each other to Christ- because of the gospel.
I suspect that when churches organize everything they do around the gospel (for what else do we mean by "church"?), and when we do this with unwavering rigor and discipline, we will find our congregations vitalized, not only to sing on Sunday mornings, but to live worshipfully each day.