“But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come” (Mark 4:29).
The autumn of the year, though different in scenic beauty from land to land, always reminds us of harvest time. There was a time to plant and sow, and another time for sun and rain and growth. Now the grain is garnered and the fruit is plucked and stored. The harvest prepares the gatherer for the time of the unknown, when only the fruits of the harvest ensure the sustaining of the future. It was with this in mind that Jesus compared the winning of the lost souls of men and women to a time of harvest. He said, “Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest” (John 4:35).
Throughout the earth today, the souls of men and women, boys and girls, make up the worldwide harvest of the Church, the Body of Christ. God’s Kingdom grows daily as the Gospel is preached and people accept Christ as Savior and Lord. For this harvest, we should be very thankful as we count our blessings at Thanksgiving.
First, we are thankful God has prepared the places, or ground, of harvest. The people of our age and time are coming to the realization that unless there is peace of the soul, there can be no happiness of life. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you” (John 14:27). Our world is a rich, fertile ground of harvest.
Second, we are thankful for the means of harvest. Our time has seen the rapid escalation of technology, which has allowed the spread of the Gospel throughout the entire earth. Jesus foresaw this time and said, “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then the end shall come” (Matthew 24:14).
Finally, we should be thankful for the substance of the harvest. The harvest of these last days looks like a microcosm of Heaven itself. People from every kindred, tongue, and nation are finding Christ as Savior. People of the deserts, mountains, rainforests, plains, and forested hills are finding Jesus. From every ethnicity, they sing praises of His redeeming power and grace. John, in his Revelation vision saw and heard the voices of this harvest in the eternal presence of God. “And they sung a new song, saying, ‘Thou are worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by the blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation’” (Revelation 5:9).
This Thanksgiving, we give thanks to God for the harvest!
—Dr. David M. Griffis
International Director of World Missions