Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Raise the Song of Harvest Home

We sang this glorious old hymn, "Come, Ye Thankful People, Come," in church this past Sunday. I've probably heard it before, but I'm not sure if I'd ever paid attention to the words until now. The phrase "harvest home" just struck me as the perfect metaphor for the day when we will be united with Christ at his coming to establish the new heavens and the new earth -- the idea that all the harvesting will be done and we can abide with Him in eternal Thanksgiving for His ultimate provision. I also like that the emphasis is on the Lord as the one who is doing the harvesting, not us. I especially appreciated the reminder to pray that we "wholesome grain and pure might be." Repentance comes before renewal.

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 unto His praise to yield;
Wheat and tares together sown unto 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.

For the Lord our God shall come, and shall take His harvest home;
From His 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 His 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 garner to abide;
Come, with all Thine angels come, raise the glorious harvest home.

Hymn Text by Henry Alford, 1844

This Thanksgiving, remember that Christ is Lord and we are to thank him for His goodness. Our weapon is worship! By praising the Risen Savior at our feast, we boldly proclaim that "All the world is God’s own field!" Perhaps you could start a new tradition of singing this hymn with your family. :) However your celebrate this Thanksgiving, may you have a wonderful holiday and celebrate gladly around your tables with family and friends!


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