Every Wednesday to the end of the year we’re going to take a look at a seasonal song or hymn. With Thanksgiving being tomorrow, today we’re looking at a harvest festival hymn written in 1844 called “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come.” The first verse is the one that most people recognize if they grew up or currently spend time in more traditional churches, and the one we’ll focus on today:
“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!”
The first word reminds us to gather. That’s what the first Thanksgiving in the US was and that’s what we do with Thanksgiving today. In this day and age we’re able to do so much living from our homes: we can have just about everything sent or brought to us. But this song is a reminder of how important it is to gather together and celebrate all our blessings.
Also highlighted in this hymn is the change of seasons and why we celebrate when we do. We’re just past the end of the regular growing season for our part of the world in the US and winter is starting to show, which is a perfect time to celebrate how successful the growing season was, especially since many transition to a slower pace of life in this new season.
The final part of this verse is a focus on God. Yes, we can be thankful for other people, the things we accomplish together, and the things we individually accomplish, but even behind all of those things is God supporting everything. So much of what we celebrate on Thanksgiving, the harvest and our blessings of food, relies on the weather, something that none of us really has control over. We have some influence over the harvest, but God also plays a big roll. It’s a reminder to thank God for all that He supplies us with, and the blessing and promise of the future Jesus died and rose again so we could have.
What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?