Martin Rinkart

Martin Rinkart was a pastor in the little city of Eisenberg in Saxony during the Thirty Years' War. This walled city was the goal of refugees during that time. They came and ate all the food, and then there was starvation. With the starvation came pestilence, until practically the whole population of the city died. Martin Rinkart, the only pastor left in the city, had as many as fifty funerals in one day. One evening after having conducted funerals all day, he sank down exhausted, thinking that he could bear it no longer; but then it was he wrote the words of the famous hymn:

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.


Yes, it is the will of God for us that we give thanks. If we were not thankful we would go insane with the perplexities and irregularities of life's experiences. If there was ever a time when we needed to be thankful it is in the hour of crisis; because if we are not thankful, we will be overwhelmed by despair.


By Arthur L. Bietz, Signs of the Times, November 28, 1950. With permission from Dale Galusha

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