Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What Are You Thankful For?

"Now thank we all our God" is a Christian hymn written around 1636 by Martin Rinkart (1586–1649).  Rinkart was a Lutheran minister who came to Eilenburg, Saxony at the beginning of the Thirty years war. The walled city of Eilenberg became the refuge for political and military fugitives, but the result was overcrowding, deadly pestilence and famine.   During the height of a severe plague in 1637, Rinkart was the only surviving pastor, conducting as many as 50 funerals in a day.  He performed more than 4000 funerals in that year, including his wife's.

Rinkart wrote this hymn at the end of the Thir­ty Years’ War  for a grand cel­e­bra­tion ser­vice. 

Now thank we all our God, with heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things has done, in Whom this world rejoices;
Who from our mothers’ arms has blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.

O may this bounteous God through all our life be near us,
With ever joyful hearts and blessed peace to cheer us;
And keep us in His grace, and guide us when perplexed;
And free us from all ills, in this world and the next!

All praise and thanks to God the Father now be given;
The Son and Him Who reigns with Them in highest Heaven;
The one eternal God, whom earth and Heaven adore;
For thus it was, is now, and shall be evermore.

It is amazing that, af­ter such mis­e­ry, he was able to write this hymn of thanksgiving.

This time of year we are quick to tell others "Happy Thanksgiving" without giving much thought to what we are thankful for.  If Rinkart could thank God after such hardship you and I should be thanking Him continuously for all the blessings he has given us.

What are you thankful for?

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