November 27
Now thank we all our God
Pastor Mark Jeske

Martin Rinkart was a young pastor when he received the position of archdeacon in Eilenburg. Soon the brutal Thirty Years’ War erupted between Protestants and Catholics. Much of Germany was torn up. Eilenburg was overrun several times by different armies, and in 1637 a terrible plague ravaged the town. Rinkart was the only pastor still alive in the town and buried thousands of its inhabitants, including his own wife.

Rinkart lived just long enough to know that the Peace of Westphalia ended the war and his hymn of confidence and thankfulness even under severe tribulation was sung all over Germany to celebrate. It is still sung today and is a favorite on Thanksgiving Day.

It’s hard enough to remember to thank God when life is peaceful and good. “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). How much more important is it to thank God in all circumstances! Sometimes he spoils us with his generosity, but often his best work is done when his people are suffering hardships. We win either way.

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 blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love and still is ours today.


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