Monday, November 24, 2014

Guest Post Thanksgiving 2014

The First Thanksgiving At Plymouth by Jennie Augusta Brownscombe picture from public domain
Today my favorite writer is sharing his November meditation with us.  Dr. Gordon Reed is a pastor, conference speaker, professor, and author of some of my favorite books.  He is the best preacher I have ever had the privilege of hearing and the best writer I have ever had the privilege of reading.  

He also happens to be the best Dad a girl could have!

There is a hymn we only get to sing one time each year but we really should sing much more often.  "Come Ye Thankful People, Come" is a call for God's people to joyfully praise Him for all His incredible goodness to us.  Since it is set in the context of the fall harvest, we associate this hymn almost exclusively with our national holiday called Thanksgiving, and sing it at no other time.  That is really a shame, because like so many hymns of that era, it was not only a call to thankful worship and praise, but its content also taught biblical truths we need to hear.  When Mr. Henry Alford wrote this Hymn, "Come Ye Thankful People, Come" he wanted those who would sing this hymn to think beyond the immediate fall harvest, to another time of harvest at the end of the world.  So he pointed us to the parable of the wheat and tares which Jesus told as recorded in Matthew 13.  In this parable Jesus said that the Kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field, but at night, an enemy came in and sowed bad seed.  The word "tare" is probably the weed called bearded darnel, which looks very much like wheat early on, but is host to a poison, dangerous for any who eat it.  The good seed, the wheat, is identified as true believers, and the tares as false professors.  Skipping over the rest of the story and the interpretation, at the very end, the angels separate the wheat from the tares.  The "tares" are burned with fire, but the "wheat" ~ the true believers ~ are brought into the glorious kingdom of their Father.  The last verse of the hymn reflects that hope and that longing that the Lord will come quickly and gather in His people, "free from sorrow, free from sin".  So when you sing this hymn at Thanksgiving, as many will, reflect on the deeper reasons for our praise, the final harvest when the Lord will come and call us home.

With love and thanksgiving for each one of you!
From this hymn is in the public domain

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