This picture was taken by the last team that went to Kenya for a state of the Project Forum. It brought back to me how much I loved the sunsets and the sunrises in that country. I don’t know if this is a sunrise or set however. Whether the sun is going down or coming up is impossible to tell unless we know the spot the picture was taken and orientation to the compass. It made me think of the Biblical concepts of missions that we often miss in the scriptures. Psalm 113:3 – from the rising of the sun to its setting the name of the Lord is to be praised. Most folks will say that is about worship and we should praise God all the day long. In fact there is a whole series of prayers that start when the sun comes up and last until the sun goes down. Matins, the Morning prayer, Compline, and Evening Prayer follow the rhythms of the day and the traveling of the sun on its course.
But as I get older and remember the sunsets in Africa and the marvelous work done by our missionaries around the world, I have come to think of this Psalm as a great missionary impetus. From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets is an image of the whole world. Everywhere, and at all times we should be proclaiming the wonders of our God to those who cannot yet call Him their God. We should singing His praises so that those who do not yet know His mercy will hear.
1 Praise the Lord.[a]
Praise the Lord, you his servants;
praise the name of the Lord.
2 Let the name of the Lord be praised,
both now and forevermore.
3 From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,
the name of the Lord is to be praised.
4 The Lord is exalted over all the nations,
his glory above the heavens.
5 Who is like the Lord our God,
the One who sits enthroned on high,
6 who stoops down to look
on the heavens and the earth?
7 He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
8 he seats them with princes,
with the princes of his people.
9 He settles the childless woman in her home
as a happy mother of children.
Praise the Lord.