Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Now Thank We All Our God (Strength in Hymn)

“Now Thank We All Our God”
by Martin Rinkart
translated by Catherine Winkworth

Now thank we all our God 
With heart and hands and voices 
Who wondrous things hath done, 
In whom his world rejoices; 
Who from our mothers’ arms, 
Hath 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 heav’n adore; 
For thus it was, is now, 
And shall be evermore.

The Story Behind the Hymn: This early 17th century hymn was written by Martin Rinkart, a German pastor at the time of the bloody Thirty Years War and the devastating plague and famine.   His home was a refuge for the victims.  As the only remaining pastor in Eilenburg, he sometimes conducted 50 funerals in a single day, over 4000 in the year of 1637, including one for his own wife.  Listen to the hymn and find out more here: "Now Thank We All Our God" at Songs and Hymns.

Why I Chose This Hymn: This is the third Thanksgiving-time hymn I have featured on this blog this month.  (The others are We Plough the Fields and Scatter and For the Beauty of the Earth.) I love the gentle and cheerful words, even more so knowing the horror from which they were birthed.   He worships and praises a happy and loving God.  I am also blessed to know that Rinkart showed compassion to the needy.  That is the heart of a true pastor, being kind to the needy and broken.  The bread photo above is from a homeless outreach organized by my 24 year old daughter.  You can read more here: Homeless in the Suburbs.  I usually include more photos and commentary in this post, but it's such a simple hymn, I'd rather let its simple beauty stand on its own.

Let us thank him 
with hearts and hands and voices 
this week and always.

Grace and peace,
Virginia Knowles

1 comment:

  1. This hymn reminds me of that beautiful hymn, The Prayer. Especially those words,"lead us on the Way, guide us with your Grace". I have been listening to it so many times this week; the duet of Susan Boyle and Jackie Evancho.