Thanksgiving is a season to give thanks. It’s probably my favorite season of the year. As I began to think through why thanksgiving is important to me I began to read hymns. (If you’ve never done that before the poetry is beautiful. Put the music aside and focus on the words for a moment. You don’t need a good voice to read poetry.) One hymn surprised me: Come, Ye Thankful People Come. The first two verse are expected:
Come, ye thankful people, come, raise the song of harvest home; all is safely gathered in,
ere the winter storms begin. God our Maker doth provide for our wants to be supplied; come to God’s own temple, come, raise the song of harvest home.
All the world is God’s own field, fruit as praise to God we yield; wheat and tares together sown
are to joy or sorrow grown;
first the blade and then the ear, then the full corn shall appear; Lord of harvest, grant that we wholesome grain and pure may be.
God provides for our physical needs. We see this as the harvest is brought in and our families are provided with food for the winter. It’s a beautiful picture of God’s blessings on His people. But then the author uses the same harvest metaphor to focus our eyes to heaven:
For the Lord our God shall come, and shall take the harvest home; from the field shall in that day all offenses purge away, giving angels charge at last in the fire the tares to cast; but the fruitful ears to store in the garner evermore.
Even so, Lord, quickly come, bring thy final harvest home; gather thou thy people in,
free from sorrow, free from sin, there, forever purified, in thy presence to abide; come, with all thine angels, come, raise the glorious harvest home.
This thanksgiving take a moment with your family to focus your eyes on heaven. Give thanks not just for the earthly blessings but for the spiritual blessings we have in Christ. This thanksgiving take a moment and pray that the harvest would be brought in, that lives would be saved, and that Christ would be exalted. As Christ reminded His disciples: “I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” (John 4:35). Give thanks not just for what God has done but also give thanks for what God will do and has promised to do through Christ. May all our hearts overflow with thanksgiving this season.
With a Thankful Heart, Your Brother in Christ,