Wednesday, November 1, 2017

God's Harvest

“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.”

This song, written by Henry Alford in 1844 has always been one of my favorite Thanksgiving songs. It is quite fitting for cold climates like the US but even as a child in Africa, I loved the song and could relate to it.

There, Thanksgiving comes in the dry season at the beginning of Harmattan, a very dry and dusty season when the winds over the Sahara Desert blow southward, blowing dust down on countries like Nigeria, where I lived. Even there we worked hard in the summer and early fall rainy seasons to gather the harvest for use in the long dry season when nothing grew.

The song makes me feel sentimental and puts me in the holiday mood. But actually, a closer look at the words reveal a serious message. The third verse says:

“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.”

God’s harvest will happen someday. Right now, we are still in the summer / rainy season of God’s harvest. We need to be faithfully working in His fields while we can. Mathew 9:37-38 says, “The harvest is plentiful but he laborers are few therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers.”