Now Thank We All Our God; Are You Thankful?

          Martin Rinckart was an accomplished musician and dedicated pastor serving in Eilenberg, Germany, during the Thirty Years’ War. Eilenberg, a walled city, became a place of refuge for fugitives of the war, but because of overcrowding, the city also became a place of famine and disease.

          In 1637, with war raging around them and disease rapidly taking their residents, Rinckart was the only clergyman capable of performing the 40 to 50 funerals a day. That year he conducted over 4,000 funerals.

          Yet, with despair as his backdrop, he wrote poetry and composed hymns, including “Now Thank We All Our God.” Take a moment to look up this hymn and mediate on the words that encourage us to pause and give thanks:

                   Now thank we all our God, with hearts and hands and voices.

                   Whom wondrous things have done, in whom this world rejoices.

          We don’t have to wait for prosperity and peace to give thanks. We’re commanded to give thanks in everything – not FOR everything, but at ALL times. I Thessalonians 5:18 reads, “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

          Too often we’re like the little boy who came home from a birthday party. His mom met him at the door, and asked, “How was it?”

          He showed her all of his goodies, and she said, “Wow! Did you say ‘thank you?’”

          “Well, I was going to, but when I was in line at the door and the girl ahead of me said ‘thank you’ to the woman, the woman said, ‘don’t mention it,’ so I didn’t.”

          Though we should be thankful every day, the calendar gives us the annual day that prompts us to reflect on God’s wondrous provision. For what are you grateful? Here are a few blessings I count this year:

          *A new granddaughter born in April, whose smile lights up an entire room

          *High mileage cars that are still running with minimal repair

          *Safety and God’s protection while driving and flying this year

          *When the doctor examines and then declares a good report

          *Chocolate ice cream

          *Chocolate anything, especially dark chocolate

          *Those rare moments when the entire family is gathered around our table

          *My wonderful wife of 36 years

          *Four awesome children, their families and their accomplishments

          *The privilege of preaching the Word of God

          *The power of the Gospel to transform lives

          *My church family and our dedicated staff

          *Shorter verses that are easier to memorize

          *My amazing Mom who is still going strong

          *My wonderful in-laws who serve the Lord with such dedication

          *Our annual trip to the beach, and an occasional getaway to the mountains

          *God’s providing my son a good job upon his Spring graduation

          *Readers who read this column, and encourage me to keep writing

          *A good laugh

          *Another successful Brazil mission trip, and the four other mission trips our church took this year

          *My wife’s delicious potato rolls

          *A great, historic World Series

          *The ability to run and enjoy another Peachtree Road Race (without lightning this year)

          *Old friends reconnected thanks to Facebook     

          *Pastor friends and colleagues in Fayette County who gather regularly to encourage each other

          *For the Kelly’s fruit and vegetable stand on Highway 85 South, and for their friendship

          *That this election is finally over

          Psalms 106:1 says, “Oh, give thanks to the Lord! For He is good!”

 

 

Dr. David Chancey