The hymn “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come” is often sung at Christian services of thanksgiving. Written in 1844 by Henry Alford, it begins with thanks to God for crops safely gathered in before winter. But it is more than gratefulness for the bounty of the land. The hymn ends by focusing on God’s “harvest” of His people when Christ returns:

Even so, Lord, quickly come
To Thy final harvest-home:
Gather Thou Thy 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.

As we give thanks for material needs supplied, it’s essential to remember that our plans are uncertain and our lives are a vapor that quickly disappear (James 4:14). James encourages us to be like a farmer waiting for his crops to grow and mature. “You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand” (5:8).

As we thank God for His faithful provision for our needs, let’s turn our thoughts to the promised return of Jesus Christ. In patient expectation, we live for Him and look for the day when He will come to gather His glorious harvest home.