Every moment is holy.
The sick days and lunch breaks and window washings of our lives aren’t scum on the pond of our sanctification. They’re the droplets that fill it. They’re the small, shimmering acts poured into the basin of day-to-day, Christlike sacrifice.
They’re acts that matter to God because they can reflect his glory.
I flip through Douglas McKelvey’s book of prayers[i] and his words stir me:
As we perform the various tasks of washing, chopping, sifting, mixing, simmering, baking, and boiling, let those little acts coalesce into an embodied liturgy of service—an outworking of love offered for your purposes…[ii]
Chopping onions can bring God glory. Boiling eggs can reflect his radiance.
How? By ascribing praise to him, sacrificing for him, and reflecting his glory with our every task, word, action, and moment.
Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts (Ps. 96:8)!
Ascribe is translated from the Hebrew word יָהַב (yahab), which means “to give, to set, or to place.”[iii] But how can we—blemished, blundering humans—possibly give God anything, much less the “glory due his name”?
Modern translations shed light. The Psalmist uses ascribe the way we use accredit. Ascribing worship is “a way of gladly reflecting back to God the radiance of His worth,” writes John Piper. “[Worship] means recognizing His honor and feeling the worth of it and ascribing it to him in all the ways appropriate to His character.”[iv]
When we ascribe everything to God, the pond of our petty acts reflects glory. The droplets of our everyday actions ripple with God’s radiance. We take the gifts and skills and resources he’s given us and accredit them back to him.
When we ascribe everything to God, the pond of our petty acts reflects glory. The droplets of our everyday actions ripple with God’s radiance.
I appeal to you, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship (Rom. 12:1).
Spilling perfume, smearing it across her Rabbi’s feet, Mary glorified God (Jn. 12:3). She offered a sacrifice of praise that would linger in the air and in witnesses’ hearts long after she’d gone.
By worshiping Jesus this way, Mary offered up her reputation, pride, and costly oil on the altar of praise. She ascribed honor to Jesus and suffered for it.
David suffered too. For a Gen-Z Midwesterner like me, it’s easy to join the Psalmist when he sings, “I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High” (Ps. 9:2). But I’m not running from an enraged king. I’m not ducking into caves. I’m not sacrificing.
Glorifying God sounds like a good idea until I lose something. My comfort. My cravings. My pride. My dreams.
But this is the essence of sacrifice. It shifts the spotlight. It takes my comforts and cravings and pride and dreams and pours them into a pond that reflects the light of God. Like Mary, I can spill out my praises with joy as a fragrant offering to my Savior.
Sacrificing for Jesus beautifully mirrors the sacrifice he suffered for us.
In the grand scheme of creation, our pond is a puddle. But that doesn’t devalue the droplets. Each one counts toward the magnificent mirror. Each act, each word, each task, each moment can reflect God’s glory.
Even the sick days.
Even the window washings.
Even the onion-chopping and egg-boiling,
God doesn’t paint with a bland palette. Life holds both blazing color and dim shadows and seemingly dull shades, but every moment—no matter the hue—can be holy.
Every moment can mirror the magnificence and magnanimity of God. Every moment can glorify him. Every moment should glorify him because he is incomprehensibly worthy.
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen (Rom. 11:36).
[iv] John Piper, Desiring God