“From the rising of the sun to its setting, the Name of the LORD is to be praised! The LORD is high above all nations, and His glory above the heavens!“(Psalm 113:3-4 ESV)
We are creatures of habit. We like our routines. We have set times to sleep, to wake, and to go to work. Daily calendars are carefully planned. Worship times are planned, too. Following the practice of the early Christians, we gather to worship on Sunday because that is when Jesus rose from the dead, “toward the dawn of the first day of the week” (Matthew 28:1b). We may also worship after the sun goes down, perhaps with evening services during Advent and Lent. Some churches may follow the pattern of monastic practice with morning services of Matins and evening worship of Vespers or Compline. Whenever we worship, it is a good time to do so. It is a very good habit.
Certain places are established as sites for worship. The early Christians worshiped in the Jerusalem temple and in the synagogues, witnessing to their faith in Jesus, the crucified and risen Messiah. They began to gather for worship in the homes of believers or perhaps outdoors, as Christians in some parts of the world still do today. We may come together to worship in great buildings of wood, brick, and stone, or we may praise God in small groups or alone. The Lord who is high above all nations and whose glory is above the heavens hears our praise, no matter where that praise is offered.
All times are good times for worship. Every place is a good place to worship. Yet the psalmist here is not merely offering a suggestion for convenient worship times in the morning or evening. It is an absolute command: “From the rising of the sun to its setting, the Name of the LORD is to be praised!” From sunrise to sunset and every moment in between, the God who sent His Son to redeem us is worthy of all honor and praise. Through the Word of God, the Holy Spirit forms in us new habits of worship. These psalm verses provide a pattern for praise, impressing a framework of worship onto every moment of our lives. As we work and certainly as we gather for formal worship, at rest, and at mealtimes, we offer to God our grateful songs and prayers. Indoors in churches dedicated to God’s glory, outdoors in His wonderful creation, at work and at home, in large and small gatherings around the world, praise continually rises to the throne of God. From the sunrise of Jesus’ resurrection, to the final sunset of this earth’s history, to the eternal sunrise of life in His presence, the Name of the Lord is to be praised!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, from sunrise to sunset, from one day to the next, I praise Your holy Name! Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler.
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on September 12, 2022
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights reserved
1. Do you have any productive habits or routines that have been a part of your life for a long time? What are they?
2. What are some unusual or different places where you have worshiped God?
3. Can we praise God in the way we live our lives and not just in a worship setting? How so?