by Linda Veath
Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song. ~ Psalm 95:2 NIV
As I walked through the local Walmart this week, I passed the Christmas decorations that have been luring everybody to buy them since sometime in October. At least. Are we as thankful as we used to be?I wondered. Is that why Thanksgiving gets pushed to the back more and more?
Martin Luther, in his book Table Talk, wrote: “The greater God’s gifts and works, the less they are regarded.” In other words, the more we receive, the less thankful we become.
Maybe it’s time to pause and count our blessings.
Two of my favorite songs — one new, one old — are good reminders of what counting our blessings can do. Rend Collective’s new single, Counting Every Blessing,and the old hymn Count Your Blessings, written in 1897, remind us of the blessings we have received from God. And when we take time to count those blessings, we realize that we are “blessed beyond measure,” surprised at all He has done for us. Even more, we realize just how undeserving we are of these blessings.
An even older hymn — written over 400 years ago in the early 1600’s by Martin Rinkart, a Lutheran pastor — takes us back to the Thirty Years’ War in Germany. Pastor Rinkart wrote Now Thank We All Our God for the survivors in Eilenberg, Saxony. Terrorized for years, with death an everyday occurrence around him, Pastor Rinkart realized that healing could only come with thanksgiving. His song is now to German Christians what the Doxologyis to American Believers.
Three songs of Thanksgiving, spanning nearly 450 years, encouraging us to count our blessings and thank God for them. Whatever our earthly blessings may be, we have much to praise God for. And the more thankful we become, the more we’ll celebrate Thanksgiving — and every day — with joy and praise!
So, why not start counting your blessings today and writing them down. You may be surprised by next Thanksgiving that what the Lord has done for you is beyond measure.
Now thank we all our God, with heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things has done, in Whom this world rejoices ….
Oh, may this bounteous God through all our life be near us,
With ever joyful hearts, and blessed peace to cheer us ….
Now Thank We All Our God– parts of vss 1 & 2
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