Come, Bless the Lord

David Bast

Read: Psalm 134

Come, bless the Lord, all you servants . . . who stand by night in the house of the Lord! (v. 1).

The first time I sang the hymn “The Day Thou Gavest,” I remember liking it instantly.

We thank Thee that Thy Church unsleeping,
While earth rolls onward into light,
Through all the world her watch is keeping,
And rests not now by day or night.

What thrilled me as I sang was the idea of the perpetual worship of God going right around the world. So while we are sleeping, Christians somewhere on the other side of the globe are getting up to praise the Lord.

The psalmist was also thrilled by that idea. Leadership of the temple worship was entrusted to the Levites, the tribe the Lord had set apart for liturgical duty. Only the descendants of Aaron were priests, but the other Levites served as musicians and singers, gatekeepers, craftsmen, caretakers, guards, and the like. And they served in shifts, day and night, so that, as another stanza of the hymn says, “The voice of prayer is never silent, / Nor dies the strain of praise away.”

Imagine you were one of the Levites pulling the midnight to 4 a.m. shift. Maybe as your eyelids droop and your head nods, you hear the encouragement: “Lift up your hands to the holy place, and bless the LORD!” So you suck it up, and in response sing right back, “May the LORD bless you!” Amen to that! —David Bast

As you pray, give thanks for the church here and around the world, and encourage your pastor today.