Tuesday, October 02, 2012
(Belated) Hymn of the Week
This past Sunday we had our church's annual general meeting as well as Covenant Renewal Sunday (basically our church's birthday) and communion. It was a busy Sunday. And I was so happy to be able to participate in Covenant Renewal for the first time in six years.
A hymn which sums up how I felt about this past Sunday is "Now Thank We All Our God." (Words can be found here.) This hymn also works well because this coming Monday is Canadian Thanksgiving and it is a hymn of thanksgiving. According to my book there are 138 scriptures on the subject of thanksgiving.
Martin Rinkart wrote this hymn after a time of great strife in Eilenberg, Saxony where he lived. The Swedish army was invading and there was nothing but plague, famine and fear. All the rest of the pastors fled, or died, and finally Rinkart was the only one left. Rinkart eventually left the safety of the city walls to negotiate with the Swedes and a truce was reached. Rinkart wrote this song as one of healing and reconciliation for the survivors of Eilenberg.
I know this song had great meaning for my Mennonite ancestors who fled Russia in the 1920s and so it is amazing to me to hear the story behind the hymn and know that its intent was not only thanksgiving but also healing and reconciliation.