Giving thanks for the material blessings we receive—is only part of Harvest Thanksgiving.
Jesus loved to speak of the flowers of the field, of time of sowing and reaping, of wheat and tares, and the need for good grain. He told parables of ploughing, harvesting, and the man who needed bigger barns. In his teaching Jesus was very down to earth, but he sought to lift our thoughts heavenwards. When the Samaritans flocked out of the city to see Him, he said they were ‘white unto harvest’ - a harvest of souls. When a few Greeks desired to see Him, Jesus saw them as the first fruits of a great ingathering of the Gentiles. Of his approaching cross he said—’Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone: but if it dies, it bears much fruit.’(John 12:24).
Jesus spoke of the fields, and the acres of ripening corn; but saw them as signs of a yet more wonderful world. He turned the earthly things into parables of heaven.
T. T. Lynch put it this way: ‘He spoke of grass, and wind, and rain, and fig-trees, and fair weather; and made it His delight to bring heaven and earth together’.
Look first at the seed. Jesus said, ‘It is the word of God.’ It is good seed. It is the good news of the kingdom of God. It is the Gospel. In it lies hope for our souls, for it is the seed-corn of salvation.
The sower scatters the seed, there is little doubt that Jesus saw himself as the sower. He had worked among those whom sin had hardened—publicans, prostitutes and the self-righteous. Sinners were hard soil, but He had sowed in hope.
The soil is the heart or soul of the hearer. There are hearts that are hard, some are shallow and others choked.
But there are good hearts, hearts receptive to the Word of God: ‘These are they which have heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit.’
The Gospel, said Jesus, is good seed, and, sown in open hearts, will produce thirty, sixty, a hundred fold!
So let us rejoice on this Harvest Sunday in all the good things that our Heavenly Father gives us.