For Those Who Have Ears To Hear

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.

All the world is God’s own field, fruit unto His praise to yield;
Wheat and tares together sown unto 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.

For the Lord our God shall come, and shall take His harvest home;
From His field shall in that day all offenses purge away,
Giving angels charge at last in the fire the tares to cast;
But the fruitful ears to store in His garner evermore.

Even so, Lord, quickly come, bring Thy final harvest home;
Gather Thou Thy people in, free from sorrow, free from sin,
There, forever purified, in Thy garner to abide;
Come, with all Thine angels come, raise the glorious harvest home.

Henry Alford
(first published in 1844)


To Borrow a Line from Charles Dickens

If I could work my will, every idiot who goes about putting up his Christmas lights and tree before Thanksgiving should be boiled in his own pudding and buried with a stake of holly through his heart.

Seriously people, rushing past the day to give thanks to get to the day there are only so many shopping days left until is both a character flaw and a disgrace. There will be plenty of time for Christmas--it deserves its full measure of attention and celebration...but not at the expense of Thanksgiving. The sad fact is that our nation can't even be bothered to give up one day (have you noticed how many stores are open on Thanksgiving now?) to stop and acknowledge both the source and the incredible number of our blessings. As President Lincoln said in his Thanksgiving Declaration in 1863: "To these bounties, which are are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God."

A nation and a people who have received so much but are not willing to be grateful cannot expect to long enjoy the blessings they take for granted. This is true in both the natural and the spiritual senses...and it's time for America to repent and give thanks...before its too late.