In 1636, amid the darkness of the Thirty Years’ War, a German Pastor, Martin Rinkart, is said to have buried 5000 of his parishioners in one year, an average of fifteen a day! His parish was ravaged by war, death and economic disaster. In the midst of that time, with cries of fear all around him, he sat down and wrote a table grace for his children. We have turned it into a hymn, quite often sung around this time of year:
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 mother’s arms,
Hath led us on our way
With countless gifts of love
And still is ours today.
Here was a man who knew that real thanksgiving comes as a response to the love and care of God, not because of outward circumstances.
No matter your circumstances this year, may you rejoice with Thanksgiving, for the love God has shown you in Jesus Christ, and for His providential care each day.