Why We Sing: Rising Sun
“Why We Sing” is a weekly blog series that shares why we use the songs we do in our worship gathering. Our hope is that this will help you engage more deeply with your heart, mind, and body in worshipping God through these songs.
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 forevermore!
From the rising of the sun to its setting,
the name of the Lord is to be praised!
“Rising Sun,” written by All Sons and Daughters, is inspired by Psalm 113. The song and psalm both center around praising the name of God and remembering the many reasons why the name of God should be praised. The psalm and song speak of how a majestic God is attentive to our needs, reaching down with provision and salvation.
One of the most intriguing lines of the song is in the bridge. It says “Hallelujah, name above all, simply to speak your name is praise.” When I first heard that lyric it took me some time to really absorb and understand what it was saying. Here’s what I think it means. All the names God gives us are names that describe his character: who he is and what he does. God’s holy character is consistently and perfectly expressed in his actions. And he’s given us many names to know him by that reflect the many perfect aspects of his character. Look at some of the names used in the song and how they describe God: Great Redeemer, God alone is the one who can and does save. Light of the Morning, God is the one whose constant glory and light fill us with hope. Speaking the names of God recalls God’s great character and work in our lives and the world. Each name of God contains a story of his faithfulness, communicating to us who he is. These names of God and the story they contain fill us with assurance and hope as we realize that our stories are caught up and led by the story of God.
When we sing this song on Sunday, we usually sing it as our first or last song. When it is sung first we are using it to focus and center our hearts in the character and work of the gospel. It reminds us that we exist within God’s good purposes and plan for the world. It calls us to orient our hearts around God, not ourselves. When we sing it last, we are using it as a rallying cry as we are sent out into the world to live out of God’s story in ordinary, everyday ways. We are rehearsing the gospel story of a gracious redeemer who calls us to praise him above anything else.
This is why we sing “Rising Sun,” because it gives us opportunity to joyfully praise God for who he is and shapes us to see our lives as existing within God’s graciousness, for his glory.