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MOENCH: A day of good news

Bible and cross

In 1636, amid the darkness of the Thirty Years’ War, when battle, famine and disease claimed some eight million lives in Central Europe, pastor Martin Rinkart buried nearly 5,000 parishioners in one year — including his wife. He sometimes held up to 50 services a day. In the heart of that darkness, with mournful cries outside his window, he sat down and wrote this table grace for his motherless children:

Now thank we all our God, With hearts and hands and voices;

Who wondrous things has done; In whom this world rejoices.

Who, from our mother’s arms, Hath led us on our way,

With countless gifts of love, And still is ours today.

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I’m reminded of another time and place. Ben-Hadad, King of Syria, had laid siege to Samaria. Some in the city became so desperate for food that they resorted to cannibalism. However, “... the Lord had caused the Aramenans to flee … for their lives” (2 Kings 7:6, 7). At that same time, “four men with leprosy” reasoned, “Why stay here until we die … let’s go over to the camp of the Arameans and surrender (vv. 3, 4).

In the abandoned Syrian camp, they discovered a rich supply of food and drink, which they gorged themselves on; silver, gold and clothes, which they hid. Then they said, “What we’re doing is not right. This is a day of good news and we’re keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until daylight, judgment will overtake us. Let us go at once …” (vv. 8, 9).

There is a famine in the world today. Men, women and children are starving for want of spiritual nourishment just as surely as the people within the city gates of Samaria were dying for want of physical food. Amid the darkness of this war those of us who have “tasted and seen that the Lord is good” (Ps. 34:9) have good news to tell. Dare we keep it to ourselves? “If we wait until daylight, judgment will overtake us. Let us go at once” and share the light of God’s love with others.

Related Topics: FAITH
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