“Now Thank We All Our God” was a Thanksgiving hymn yet to be written at the time of Ruth.  But Ruth, like the author Martin Rinkart, lived in times of great difficulty, famine.  Rinkart, a Lutheran minister, lived in Eilenburg, Germany during political and military conflicts sending refugees to his town.  During a great plague he held as many as 50 funerals a day in 1637.  He was the only surviving pastor from the plague and did 4000 funerals that year!  I suspect that when he met Ruth in heaven, they had stories to swap of hard times endured and the exhaustion plus blessing of caring for people. 

         We have come almost to the end of Chapter 3 of Ruth.  She married the son of Naomi who fled famine in Bethlehem only to meet death, leaving her a young childless wife widowed.  She chose to risk returning to Bethlehem with Naomi but struggled to survive there.  Gleaning, “per chance” in the field of a distant relative, Boaz, the two women hatch a plan to offer Ruth to marry him.  The “match maker” role does not seem to have come into practice yet.  Boaz is flattered by Ruth’s offer to be married to him but realizes there is a relative who has stronger rights, so heads off to the city gate to settle the words.  Our “she-roe” waits.  I wonder if she would have found comfort in this tune, written centuries later, during those anxious hours as she, as he, and as we wait for the outcome of our prayers.

1 Now thank we all our God
with heart and hands and voices,
who wondrous things has done,
in whom his world rejoices;
who from our mothers’ arms
has blessed us on our way
with countless gifts of love,
and still is ours today.

2 O may this bounteous God
through all our life be near us,
with ever joyful hearts
and blessed peace to cheer us,
to keep us in his grace,
and guide us when perplexed,
and free us from all ills
of this world in the next.

3 All praise and thanks to God
the Father now be given,
the Son and Spirit blest,
who reign in highest heaven
the one eternal God,
whom heaven and earth adore;
for thus it was, is now,
and shall be evermore.

Perhaps take time this morning to listen to this modern rendition and may it strengthen you as you wait for your answers to this weeks prayers.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9a6VmcfAJ3o  Blessings.

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