“Let both grow together until the harvest. . . . First collect the weeds . . . to be burned; then gather the wheat.” (Matt. 13:30)

A TRADITIONAL AUTUMN EVENT in the Church of England is the service of Harvest Home or Ingathering. It is accompanied by the beloved hymn “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come” through which worshipers “raise the song of Harvest Home.” Churches were often decorated with farm products to demonstrate the people’s thanks to God for the plentiful harvest and to express gratitude for His ongoing loving care and provision.

The Jews in the Old Testament had similar celebrations, and some of their festivals reflect this. For example, the grain harvest lasted seven weeks, beginning with the barley harvest about the time of Passover, followed by the wheat harvest at Pentecost. The Feast of Tabernacles concluded the fruit harvest. Besides celebrating the harvest, these festivals had spiritual meanings, for God used them to teach and remind His people of their responsibility to Him, and to remind them of His continued presence and provision throughout the year.

We really don’t need a festival to thank God for all He has done for us, since we should do that every day. For it’s when we have an ongoing attitude of gratitude that we realize God’s loving care provides a harvest of blessings.

Thank God for His provision in your life.

Anne Adams lives in Athens, Texas, where she writes a weekly historical column for the Athens Review newspaper.

© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.