Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Raise the Song of Harvest Home

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.
How many times have you sung these words at a Thanksgiving service? Thought about them much? I thought about them, and then I looked into the background from the hymn writers and was glad to see that I had suddenly understood what they were saying (after, lo, these many Thanksgivings).

When I sing this first verse, I can't think of anything but the fields, the coming of the first frost, and the feeling of being "settled." In for the winter. Food has been stored. God has provided!

But, even in this first verse, as I mulled over the words, I can see the references to a very different harvest, made much more clear in the verses to come. Come, ye thankful God's own temple...for our wants to be supplied!

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.

In the 2nd verse, we are in a different field--the field of people. Wheat and tares (weeds) will grow up together, yet some will believe (sown unto joy) and some will not believe (sown in sorrow). This can surely be said of the things we do as well. Those things done for the Lord will grow successfully (fruit unto His praise to yield). Those things done for self will be destroyed. The last line is really a prayer: "Lord of harvest, make us and the things we do for You wholesome and pure."

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.

Verse three is really far-removed from the farmer harvesting his own field. But think about the metaphor here. After the harvest has been completed (the fruitful ears stored during those winter storms), the tares are cast into the fire. Bad weeds don't make for an easy growing season the next year.

The verse now puts Jesus, our Lord, as the harvester, to take HIS harvest (His fruitful, faithful) home for "evermore." "All offenses purge away," as He has taken away our sins from the beginning to the end. Are you thankful for that? And then the tares, those who do not come to believe in the life-saving message of the Lord will perish.

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.

The hymn ends with a reiteration of the verse before, only with a calling: "Lord, quickly come!" Those who know the promise of God, the hope of everlasting life, have within them a desire to know that final peace-filled, loving, fulfilling Harvest Home.

Raise the glorious harvest home, Lord!
We are truly thankful for Your countless blessings upon us!
Happy Thanksgiving to you all!!


Bonita said...

Beautiful thoughts and pictures, Sue!

The Patterson 5 said...

A song of Thanksgiving for a glorious homecoming to come! Beautiful pictures, wonderful promises of things to come post! Many blessings to be thankful for!

Chatty Kelly said...

Happy Thanksgiving Sue J & family!

Reminded us of the BIG things to truly be thankful for, I am thankful that I am part of the glorious harvest to come.

Edie said...

I just love this Sue J. And yes I am so thankful to be among the faithful because of His blood. I so look forward to the Day. Lord come quickly.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving my friend.

Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

I soooo loved my visit here!
Your post about the wind as well!

Edie said...

Come visit when you get a chance. You are mentioned in today's post. :) Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

My ADHD Me said...

You are ALWAYS able to make me see things in such a different and better way.
I hope your Thanksgiving went well.
I read in Edie's blog that some of your family wasn't feeling well.
tell them I said FEEL BETTER!!--that's an order!

Edie said...

Hi Sue J! I'm glad you had a nice Thanksgiving. I hope everyone is feeling better very soon. Until then, bedrest and chicken noodle soup!

Truth4thejourney said...

You know, I've never sung that song before. Love it, though. Thank you for the analogy. What an awesome song. :)


The Patterson 5 said...

I enjoy your writings and even showed them to my mom on my latest trip to visit! Keep sharing!