WELCOME TO CALVARY LUTHERAN CHURCH – “This is the day the Lord has made”. We join the Psalmist in acknowledging the goodness of our Lord our God, as we not only see His goodness in the beauty of His creation, but even more than that, we know of His goodness in the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus. Thank you for joining us as we receive His forgiveness and peace during this hour of worship.

AS WE GATHER: God takes us as we are; He forgives us, makes us His own, and uses us to care, to witness, and to bless. Our Lord called Paul from persecution to mission, and He called Peter from denial to proclamation, and He calls each of us to be His disciples and follow him.

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Now Thank We All Our God

November 2023

Rev. Martin Rinckart, born in 1586, held down many pastoral positions after the completion of his studies at the University of Leipzig, Germany. His ministry, unfortunately, also coincided with the Thirty Years War (1618-1648). After 1630 the city was under great pressure from refugees, and a plague that struck in the year 1637. 8,000 residents died, including all the priests and pastors, the city council, and his own wife, Christine. This pastor, Rev. Rinckart, officiated at over 4,000 funerals in one year!
Following this terrible plague there came a devastating famine. He organized assistance to the poor and hungry, and yet, through all this “awfulness”, his spirit was never crushed, his trust for God never abated.
Pastor Rinckart wore a special ring throughout his adult life, and referred to it many times throughout the plague and famine. It had these Latin letters inscribed on it: MVSICA: “My Trust is in Christ Alone.”
Without question, he retained a spirit of trusting in his Lord, and in the certainty of His blessings. His wonderful hymn “Nun danket alle Gott” (“Now Thank we all our God”) demonstrates this trust.
He gave a copy of it to each of his children one day after worship, when they had gathered in their home for Sunday supper. As he gave it to them, it was also with the admonition to remember that “all things, both good and difficult come from our Lord. We can be thankful at all times, not just when we are happy, and things are going well.”
Pastor Rinckart certainly had a slew of reasons to feel sorry for himself for the circumstances that were thrust upon him, while he walked through this difficult life of his. And still, at times, through his river of tears, he was able to see the wonder of God’s love that kept him safe and at peace. He kept giving of himself, and of his earthly goods. He trusted the Lord for tomorrow – and the Lord never failed him.
Thanksgiving and Stewardship Sunday are this month, and they go so well together. Even in difficult days we are afforded the opportunity to share God’s bounty with others, those things that He has shared with us everyday of our lives. Our Lord even surprises us with how He cares for us each and every day.
I certainly hope that none of us ever have to go through the trials and tribulations of pastor Rinckart as we go about our day. But when trials do arrive, and our testing comes around, just remember how much our Lord loves and blesses us each and every day.
As 2023 begins to wind down, with the year 2024 on the horizon, may our Stewardship practice resemble that of Pastor Rinckart. That we may always sing out; “Now Thank We All our God, with hearts and hands and voice.”