Come, Ye Thankful People, Come ~ Hymn 367

By: Alan Harvey

Posted: October 2, 2019

Category: Daily Devotional

Devotions Based on Hymns from Glory to God and Their Scriptural Allusions

READ: Exodus 23:16

Before early settlers in Virginia or the Pilgrims in Massachusetts celebrated a day of Thanksgiving, the Lord decreed festivals of harvest and ingathering be observed. In Exodus 13:16 we read,

“You shall observe the festival of the harvest, of the first fruits of your labor of what you sow in the field. You shall observe the festival of ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather from the field the fruit of your labor.”

While Virginians insist they were the first to celebrate thanksgiving in the new world and descendants of the Pilgrims insist their forefather initiated the practice, a harvest festival ordained by God long predated their observance.

Today’s hymn, “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come” is a very popular Thanksgiving song. Listen or sing:

“Come, ye thankful people, come; raise the song of harvest home. All is safely gathered in, ere the winter’s 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.”

The first verse is speaking of the harvest of the field. Verses 2 through 4 speak of harvesting people for the kingdom. Verse 4 reads:

“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 thy angels come; raise the glorious harvest home!”

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays and I love the foods associated with this holiday. While “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come” is a great Thanksgiving hymn and reminds us of what has been harvested and now abounds on our tables. (Note: This hymn is located in the section: Christ’s Return and Judgment.) There is a greater meaning still in that we celebrate and continue our efforts to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ and to teach and make disciples for Him.


Dear Lord, we thank You for fall festivals and for a national day of Thanksgiving. While You welcome our gratitude for bountiful harvests, You also want us to see that there is a harvest of greater importance and that is making disciples for Jesus Christ. Help us to reach out to those who may not know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. In His name, we pray. Amen.