Some view Thanksgiving weekend as the last gasp of summer, the time to escape to some place other than home and chill. Others see it as a time to gather family around a big dinner table (you might want to be careful about that one this year!). Still others see it as a time for, well, giving thanks. (And then there are those who view the weekend in all three ways!)
The apostle Paul told the church in Thessalonica, and the Lord tells us through him, to “be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5.18, NLT). So for the Christ follower, Thanksgiving isn’t the second Monday in October; it’s every day.
Still, on Thanksgiving weekend, our minds may be drawn to common Thanksgiving songs. A common Thanksgiving hymn, coming from the 19th century, is “Come, ye thankful people, come”. I enjoy singing it on Thanksgiving Sunday…or, honestly, any other Sunday. Why?
It’s not because it reminds me to give thanks, as important as that is.
It’s because the author, Henry Alford, related the idea of giving thanks for the harvest to nothing less than the second coming of Jesus.
The verses tell one story, but consider this verse in particular:
For the Lord our God shall come and shall take his harvest home;
from the field shall in that day all offences purge away,
give the angels charge at last in the fire the tares to cast,
but the fruitful ears to store in God’s storehouse evermore.
What if we gave thanks to God this weekend with an understanding that Jesus is coming again…soon?
Ponder that while you gnaw on your turkey, and be thankful.