'Now Thank We All Our God'
The hymn “Now Thank We All Our God” was written by Martin Rinkart, a Lutheran clergyman who lived in a German city that experienced great suffering during the Thirty Years’ War.
During the conflict, which largely centered on Catholic and Protestant armies battling each other in what is now Germany, Rinkart became the lone pastor for the city of Eilenburg.
Amid the war and a plague-ravaged Eilenberg, Rinkart found himself conducting as many as 50 funerals a day in the city while also ministering to the sick and refugees.
Glenn Sunshine of the Colson Center’s Breakpoint wrote in 2020 that, despite his situation, “the hymns that Rinkart penned were full of praise and trust in God even when they … spoke of the troubles afflicting Germany.”
“His best-known hymn, written around 1636 in the middle of the war, was as a table prayer; we know it as ‘Now Thank We All Our God,’” wrote Sunshine.
“Think about this hymn in the context of Rinkart’s life. If in the midst of horrendously devastating war, plague, famine, and death, Rinkart could find the faith to sing his thanks to God, how much more should we, who are living in much better circumstances rejoice in the goodness of God that has blessed us so abundantly.”