Daily Riches: Thanksgiving In Desperate Times (Martin Rinkart and Robert Morgan)

“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.”
Martin Rinkart

“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.”

Daily Riches: Immigrant Jesus, Then and Now (Pete Scazzero)

“For the last month I have been deeply affected by the pictures and stories of tens of thousands of refugees pouring into Europe. Then, this past week Geri and I were in Germany, speaking and interacting with church leaders from Eastern and Western Europe. We saw refugees in the streets, railway stations, and small villages. We had dinner with one of our German pastor friends about his small ‘suburban’ village of 600 that recently received 57 refugees. The town formed a task force of over 50 people to serve their massive needs (from clothing, to language study, to integration into schools, etc.). It was inspiring. This crisis goes beyond Europe to the world as a whole. We can expect greater migrations of peoples seeking stability and opportunity for years to come in the West. So how do we look at the news of what we are seeing…?

  • Let’s remember Moses, Daniel, Priscilla, Aquila, Ezekiel, and the Israelites were also refugees. Throughout history God has advanced His purposes by moving peoples around from one nation to another nation.
  • God is sending people to us in Europe and North America so that we might love them and preach the gospel to them. Many of us have been praying for the Muslim world for decades. God is answering our prayers by bringing them to our doorsteps. There is a great spiritual hunger among many who have become disillusioned with Islam (Yes, persecuted Christians and others who are fleeing poverty are also coming.).
  • If we close our doors to refugees and immigrants out of fear of losing our standard of living and comfort, we may be closing our doors to Jesus Himself. (Matthew 25:35)
  • We must lead the way in asking God to give wisdom to President Obama and other Western political leaders. The issues are complex. How does one determine who truly qualifies as a refugee? How do government leaders screen out ISIS and others seeking to spread terror? At what point are poorer countries like Serbia, Slovakia, Hungary and Greece unable to receive more refugees?” Pete Scazzero

“I was a stranger and you invited me in.”
Jesus in Matthew 25:35

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Are you aware of newcomers and changing demographics in your own neighborhood? Are you aware of the European crisis?
  • What might be God’s invitation in all this to you? …your family? …your church?
  • What emotions does this issue bring to the surface for you? Can you sit with those before God?

Abba, may we do all we can for those with nowhere to lay their heads.

For More:  Jesus Was a Migrant by Deirdre Cornell


These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek God and he seeks you. Thanks for reading and sharing this blog! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)