Pastor Thalacker’s Words for The Month
The Mighty One, God the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting. Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth. Psalm 50:1f. (RSV)
Praise the Lord! Praise, O servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord! Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and for evermore! 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 113:1-4 (RSV)
In the Northern Hemisphere, today is the longest day of the year. Conversely, in the Southern Hemisphere it’s the shortest.
In some ways, that’s a strange way to talk about things. If we are measuring things by time, all days are the same length all the time....24 hours long (give or take a few minutes). At the equator, all days are the same length, 12 hours between the rising and the setting of the sun. The difference in how we experience that depends on where in the hemispheres we may be located....the further north.... or south at any given time of the year, the greater the change.
I suspect that the Psalmist (Asaph in the case of the 50th Psalm; David in the case of the 113th) was aware of those changes. I suspect that the people of Bible times who were probably more directly exposed in nature to the times and seasons also knew something about the changes of the length of the days. People in Bible times also had quite a different view of the way that universe was “set up “. But they like we, experienced and knew of the rising and setting sun and they knew that what mattered was that during the time when the sun was hanging around, the task with which humans were to be concerning themselves was praising God. “From the rising of the sun to its setting the name of the Lord is to be praised!”
That’s for every day the sun rises and sets (which is every day). We don’t go to worship to be rewarded. To the best of my knowledge, God is not a divine bookkeeper with a green eyeshade and a balance sheet before Him. We go to hear the Word of God, receive the sacraments and every day whether it is the longest of the year or the shortest, from the rising of the sun to its setting give praise to God in what we say and do.
God bless us all in doing that this summer as the days now grow shorter. Plan on it and count on it.