The Worship Quote of the Week for (05/14/1996):

"Now Thank We All Our God"
Today's WORSHIP QUOTE comes from the very familiar hymn "Now Thank We All Our
God." The poet was Martin Rinkart, a pastor in Eilenburg, Saxony in the early
17th century. He lived at time of great political strife. During the Thirty
Years War his city was under siege by Swedish and Austrian armies. In 1637 a
plague swept through the area and during one period of time, since he was the
only surviving pastor, he was conducting some 50 funerals a day. What
unbelievable hardship! And yet, in the face of all this pain and sorrow, this
hymn resounds with clarity and confidence in God's providential care. It also
has a great Mother's Day line.

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 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 ever more.

[This is thanksgiving that comes out of a poet's understanding of eternal
values, not just immediate blessings or temporary comforts and joys. Is there
a lesson here for us?]

I learned about the life and ministry of Martin Rinkart from the WORSHIP
LEADERS' EDITION of *The Worshiping Church* (Hope Publishing Co., 1991).

Have a great week,
Chip Stam