1 Come, ye thankful people, come,
raise the song of harvest home;
all is safely gathered in
ere the winter storms begin;
God, our Maker, does provide
for our needs to be supplied;
come, with all his people, come,
raise the song of harvest home.
2 All the world is God's own field,
fruit unto his praise to yield;
wheat and weeds together sown,
unto joy or sorrow grown;
first the blade and then the ear,
then the full corn shall appear;
Lord of harvest, grant that we
wholesome grain and pure may be.
3 For the Lord our God shall come
and shall take the harvest home;
he himself in that great day
all offense shall purge away,
give his angels charge at last
in the fire the weeds to cast,
but the fruitful ears to store
in the garner evermore.
4 Even so, Lord, quickly come
to your final harvest home;
gather all your people in,
free from sorrow, free from sin
there, forever purified,
in your presence to abide;
come, with all your angels come,
raise the glorious harvest home.
Written for village harvest festivals in England, the text uses imagery found in two gospel parables: the growing seed (Mark 4:26-29) and the wheat and the weeds (Matt. 13:24-30, 36-43). However, the initial agricultural harvest theme becomes an eschatological metaphor for the final judgment when the angels will gather God's chosen people into the "glorious harvest home" and cast the evil "weeds" into the "fire." Thus the text provocatively combines language and imagery that represent annual harvests as well as the ultimate consummation of history.
Psalter Hymnal Handbook
Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 19, Question and Answer 52 professes that “in all distress and persecution, with uplifted head, I confidently await the very judge who has already offered himself to the judgment of God in my place and removed the whole curse from me. Christ will cast all his enemies and mine into everlasting condemnation, but will take me and all his chosen ones to himself into the joy and glory of heaven.”
Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 57 describes what believers can expect to experience: “…We will see our Savior face to face…he will set all things right…we face that day without fear for the Judge is our Savior whose shed blood declares us righteous. We live confidently, anticipating his coming...”