Rev. Dr. Fred Leasure
One of my favorite hymns is titled
“Come, ye Thankful People, Come”
It has long been used as a Thanksgiving hymn and became popular when our country was far more dependent on successful harvests to provide vegetables and fruits to last over the winter. It was written by an English clergyman, Henry Alford, in 1844. At the time he was the rector of Aston Stanford church in Buckinghamshire. The first verse is perhaps the most meaningful:
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.
From the time of the wilderness wanderings, God has attempted to convince us of two important facts: 1.) God is the source of our essentials, and 2.)We owe our thanksgiving to God who provides many expressions of the harvest.
As an agrarian society, we were more willing to equate the harvest with the One who provided both sun and rain. In our post industrial and highly technically dependent culture, the source is not so obvious. In this month of colder and shortening days, let us remember we are safe from the storms of life as we give thanks to God.