Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Now Thank We All Our God

"Now Thank We All Our God" was written by Martin Rinckart who lived in the town of Eilenberg, Germany in the early 1600's during the Thirty Years' War.  Eilenberg was a walled city and as such it became a haven for fugitives from both far and near.  Because of the overcrowding and poor sanitation, it became a breeding ground for disease and death.  After the other two pastors died, Pastor Rinckart was left alone to bury the dead and minister to the dying and console the grieving as best he could.  He buried an average of 40 people a day; and the end of the whole ordeal, he had buried a total of 4,480 people, among whom was his own wife.  Twice the city was overrun by foreigners.  Yet in spite of all these severe adversities that would be enough to challenge anyone's faith, Pastor Rinckart trusted God and praised God's goodness and grace, even in the face of such difficult circumstance with the words of this hymn:

1.  Now thank we all our God
         With hearts and hands and voices,
             Who wondrous things has done,
         In whom His world rejoices;
     Who from our mother's arms
         Has blest us on our way
             With countless gifts of love
         And still is ours today.

2.  Oh, may this bounteous God
         Through all our life be near us,
             With ever joyful hearts
         And bles-sed 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.

3.  All praise and thanks to God
         The Father now be given,
             The Son, and Him who reign
         With them in highest heaven,
     The one eternal God,
         Whom earth and heav'n adore;
     For thus it was, is now,
          And shall be evermore.

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