providence

Rinkart on Corporate Thanksgiving

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.

I learned about the life and ministry of Martin Rinkart from the Worship Leader's Edition of The Worshiping Church, Carol Stream: Hope Publishing, 1991.


CHIP'S THOUGHTS

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?


To find out more about Chip Stam and his Worship Quote of the Week, click below.

Valley of Vision Prayer for the New Year

Today’s WORSHIP QUOTE is from Arthur Bennett’s THE VALLEY OF VISION. In this prayer for the beginning of a new year, the author postures himself before God's magnificent providence and grace. [I trust that the archaic language found herein for thee a hindrance will not be; neither shall a rocking of thy bark ensue.]

NEW YEAR
O LORD,
Length of days does not profit me except the days are passed
in thy presence, in thy service, to thy glory.
Give me a grace that precedes, follows, guides, sustains,
sanctifies, aids every hour,
that I may not be one moment apart from thee,
but may rely on thy Spirit
to supply every thought,
speak in every word,
direct every step,
prosper every work,
build up every mote of faith,
and give me a desire
to show forth thy praise,
testify thy love,
advance thy kingdom.
I launch my bark on the unknown waters of this year,
with thee, O Father, as my harbor,
thee, O Son, at my helm,
thee, O Holy Spirit, filling my sails.
Guide me to heaven with my loins girt,
my lamp burning,
my ear open to thy calls,
my heart full of love,
my soul free.
Give me thy grace to sanctify me,
thy comforts to cheer,
thy wisdom to teach,
thy right hand to guide,
thy counsel to instruct,
thy law to judge,
thy presence to stabilize.
May thy fear be my awe,
thy triumphs my joy.

—Arthur Bennett, editor. The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Banner of Truth Trust, 1999 (first published in 1975), p. 112. ISBN 0-85151-228-3.


To find out more about Chip Stam and his Worship Quote of the Week, click below.