“Martin Rinkart (1586-1649) [was] a Lutheran pastor in the little village of Eilenberg, Saxony. He grew up as the son of a poor coppersmith, felt called to the ministry, and after his theological training began his pastoral work just as the Thirty Years’ War was raging through Germany. Floods of refugees streamed into the walled city of Eilenberg. It was the most desperate of times. The Swedish army encompassed the city gates, and inside the walls there was nothing but plague, famine, and fear. Eight hundred homes were destroyed, and people began dying in increasing numbers. There was a tremendous strain on the pastors, who expended all their strength in preaching the gospel, caring for the sick and dying, and burying the dead. One after another, the pastors themselves took ill and perished until at last only Martin Rinkart was left. Some days he conducted as many as fifty funerals. Finally the Swedes demanded a huge ransom. It was Martin Rinkart who left the safety of the city walls to negotiate with the enemy, and he did it with such courage and faith that there was soon a conclusion of hostilities, and the period of suffering ended. Rinkart, knowing there is no healing without thanksgiving, composed this hymn for the survivors of Eilenberg. It has been sung around the world ever since.” Robert Morgan
“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.”
“In everything give thanks
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Moving From the Head to the Heart
- Are you a thankful person?
- What might have been your response as a resident of Eilenberg? …of your family? …of your faith community?
- Do you have some practice in your life that is teaching you “in everything to give thanks?”
Abba, remind me, even this day, to give thanks in all things.
For More: Then Sings My Soul by Robert J. Morgan
These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)
“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”
“I slept and dreamt that life was joy.
I awoke and saw that life was service.
I acted and behold, service was joy.”
“Over the past twenty-two years as a Jesuit, I have worked in a variety of what you might call service-related positions. While a novice in Boston, beside the time at the homeless shelter, I worked in a hospital for the seriously ill. Also during my novitiate, I worked with Mother Teresa’s sisters in the slums of Kingston, Jamaica, in a hospice for the sick and dying. During philosophy studies in Chicago, I worked with gang members and at a community center helping unemployed men and women find jobs. After that came my two years in Kenya with refugees. …It would take me into some of the worst slums in the world and introduced me to some people who were certainly the poorest of the poor, and yet whose great faith astonished me. Later, during my theology studies in Cambridge, Massachusetts, I worked as a prison chaplain, spending time with men and women from poor backgrounds who had sometimes committed terrible crimes … and who were desperate for someone to talk to. And since ordination I continue to do service in the form of sacramental ministry like hearing confessions, presiding at funerals, and accompanying people in difficult times. These works all brought me joy.” James Martin
“A two-year leave of absence from the Franciscans took Brennan to Spain in the late sixties. He joined … an Order committed to an uncloistered, contemplative life among the poor – a lifestyle of days spent in manual labor and nights wrapped in silence and prayer. Among his many and varied assignments, Brennan became an aguador (water carrier), transporting water to rural villages via donkey and buckboard; a mason’s assistant, shoveling mud and straw in the blazing Spanish heat; a dishwasher in France; a voluntary prisoner in a Swiss jail, his identity as a priest known only to the warden; a solitary contemplative secluded in a remote cave for six months in the Zaragoza desert.” Brennan Manning
“I tell you the truth, of all who have ever lived,
none is greater than John the Baptist.”
Moving From the Head to the Heart
- My ministry preparation was almost entirely academic. Now that seems profoundly misguided and inadequate. What’s your experience?
- Has your “book learning” been tested and enhanced by “street learning?”
- Can you trust God to use you no matter what your journey has been?
Abba, use me.
For More: Abba’s Child by Brennan Manning
“Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek God and he seeks you. I hope you’ll share my blog. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. – Bill