We can give thanks, even in hard times.
“Now thank we all our God, with hearts and hands and voices, who wondrous things has done, in whom this world rejoices; who, from our mothers’ arms, has blest us on our way, with countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.” Now Thank we all Our God, Evangelical Lutheran Worship 839, 840
This hymn was written in the 1600s by a clergyman named Martin Rinkart, who lived in what is now Germany, during the Thirty Years’ War. Wave after wave of hungry refugees crowded into his city, Eilenburg, as armies devastated the countryside. Two decades into the war, plague broke out in the starving city. After one pastor fled and another died, Martin was the only minister in Eilenburg. He presided over nearly 4,500 funerals in 1637. Altogether, 8,000 townspeople died of plague that year, including Martin’s wife, Christina.
Martin saw blessings and thanked God even during the darkest times. What blessings do we see today? How shall we give thanks?
This message is excerpted from “Now thank we all our God” by Audrey Novak Riley from the September 30, 2021, blog of Women of the ELCA. Today is Thanksgiving Day in the United States. Today we commemorate Justus Falckner, 1723; Jehu Jones, 1852 and William Passavant, 1894, all pastors in North America.
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