Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Now Thank we All our God

… be thankful. Colossians 3:15

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I know I have much to be thankful for, the greatest of which is a Savior who loves and sustains me. Although tomorrow is a day set aside to be thankful, as Christians, is it our calling to be thankful in all things. There is no shortage of scriptures exhorting us to give thanks to God.

…always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father... Ephesians 5:20

Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. Colossians 3:17

In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. I Thessalonians 5:18

In everything give thanks. Everything. In plenty, in want, in happiness, in sorrow, in sickness, in health, in suffering, in joy. Give thanks.

The author of this hymn, a pastor in Saxony, knew about giving thanks in all things. This hymn was written during the Thirty Years’ War, circa 1636. His city was surrounded by the Swedish army, and plague and famine were rampant. At one point, he was conducting 50 funerals each day. When the Swedish demanded a huge ransom, Pastor Rinkart left the safety of the city walls to plead with them for mercy. The Swed­ish command­er, im­pressed by the pastor’s faith and cour­age, low­ered his de­mands. Soon af­ter­ward, the war end­ed.

It is a test­a­ment to Pastor Rinkart’s faith that, af­ter such mis­e­ry, he was able to write a hymn of abid­ing trust and gra­ti­tude to­ward God.

Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.

Hebrews 13:15

Happy Thanksgiving! May you join with the angels in saying

"Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen." Revelation 7:12

Now Thank we All our God
Words by Martin Rinkart

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.

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