Sermon Illustrations

The year 1636 was unbelievable for German pastor, Martin Rinkart. Amid the darkness of the Thirty Year War, Pastor Rinkart is said to have buried 5000 of his parishioners, including his wife, in the year 1636, an average of 15 per day. In the heart of that kind of grief and pain, his parish ravaged by war, death, and economic disaster, with cries of fear outside his window and the constant demands to offer comfort, Pastor Rinkart did not forget to teach his children to return thanks. If you turn to page 36 in our hymnal, you will find the “table grace” poem he wrote to help his children return thanks.

Now thank we all our God,

with heart and hands and voices,

who wondrous things has done,

in whom this world rejoices;

who from our mothers’ arms

has blessed us on our way

with countless gifts of love,

and still is ours today.

2. 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 still in grace,

and guide us when perplexed;

and free us from all ills,

in this world and the next.

3. 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 evermore.