Day 253 | Friday, 27 November 2020
We hope that everyone had a good Thanksgiving Day even though it may have been much different from previous years. As the Virus continues to affect more and more people in our country, it is more and more difficult to keep positive. Although we are blessed and have much for which to be thankful: however, the pandemic, the unemployment, more families struggling with needing food; the stress on doctors, nurses, support staff, first responders; the loved ones who were not here this year to observe Thanksgiving; the lack of compassion from many politicians; the uncertainty about the near future; the missing of family gatherings during this season and beyond – all weigh on our hearts and souls.
Below are two passages that are key to the hymn that follows. I want to focus on being thankful as well as being mindful of our circumstances this year.
Mark 4:26-29 The Message
26 Then Jesus said, "God's kingdom is like seed thrown on a field by a man 27 who then goes to bed and forgets about it. The seed sprouts and grows - he has no idea how it happens.
28 The earth does it all without his help: first a green stem of grass, then a bud, then the ripened grain. 29 When the grain is fully formed, he reaps - harvest time!
Matthew 13:36-43 The Message
36 Jesus dismissed the congregation and went into the house. His disciples came in and said, "Explain to us that story of the thistles in the field." 37 So he explained. "The farmer who sows the pure seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, the pure seeds are subjects of the kingdom, the thistles are subjects of the Devil, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the Devil. The harvest is the end of the age, the curtain of history. The harvest hands are angels.
40 "The picture of thistles pulled up and burned is a scene from the final act. 41 The Son of Man will send his angels, weed out the thistles from his kingdom, 42 pitch them in the trash, and be done with them. They are going to complain to high heaven, but nobody is going to listen.
43 At the same time, ripe, holy lives will mature and adorn the kingdom of their Father.
"Are you listening to this? Really listening?
Hymn “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come” words: Henry Alford, 1844
1. “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.”
2. “All the world is God’s own field, fruit as praise to God we yield; wheat and tares together sown are to 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.”
3. “For the Lord our God shall come, and shall take the harvest home; from the field shall in that day all offenses purge away, giving angels charge at last in the fire that the tares to cast; but the fruitful ears to store in the garner ever more.”
4. “Even so, Lord, quickly come, bring thy final harvest home; gather thou they people in, free from sorrow, free from sin, there, forever purified, in thy presence to abide; come, with all thine angels, come, raise the glorious harvest home.”
God of Grace and God of Glory, on your people pour your power – grant us wisdom, grant us courage, for the facing of this hour; grant us courage, for the living of these days. Be present at our tables, Lord, be here and everywhere adored. Bring comfort to all those who suffer and surround us with your hope, peace, love and joy. With thankful hearts, even in the midst of uncertainty, receive our prayers. Amen