This Sunday is Christ the King in the Liturgical calendar. That is New Years Eve for those of us who are liturgy nerds, because the following weekend, with Advent I, we will usher in a brand new year in the church calendar.
Though we will have liturgy and some music that will certainly celebrate Christ’s role as the King of Heaven, much of our music this weekend will be focusing on giving thanks to our God for the myriad of blessings that are consistently showered upon us.
One of the songs is a personal favorite of mine. So, let me tell you a bit more about its origin:
In 1637, in the town of Eilenburg, Saxony, there lived a pastor named Martin Rinkart. Eilenburg was one of the walled cities that housed refugees of the Thirty Years’ War and became overcrowded, leading to an outbreak of plague. By 1637, Rinkart was the only pastor left standing. He performed more than fifty funerals in a day. And overall he performed more than 4000 funerals that year, including for his own wife. When at last the gates of the city were opened, he penned these hymn lyrics for his people to sing: Now thank we all our God, with heart and hands and voices, who wondrous things has done, in whom this world rejoices…
If there was ever a year for us to sing this hymn that we often sing during the season of Thanksgiving, I would suggest it is 2020. Which is probably why Walt and I both shared this same thought and put it in the service three different times.
We are also going to be practicing for Advent with our first hymn, which will be Now Thank We All Our God. Everyone who would like to sing is invited to place their things in their pew inside and meet us on the Walnut Street Lawn at 5 minutes until 10 a.m. We will be caroling outside, with our masks on, and then processing into the church singing Rinkart’s enduring hymn of praise to God. (This is something we’ll be doing every weekend in Advent, so we’re doing a trial run).
We look forward to seeing everyone in worship, either in person or on-line, as we celebrate Christ the King and all we have to thank our God for!
Blessings, Pastor Janie