The rain falling outside is rather fitting- our beloved Grandma Jean passed away this morning. She fell ill, for what she believed to be the last time, only two weeks ago, so this was not unexpected. Still, a hush and a sadness have settled over the day. It stinks that it has to be my brother’s birthday.
I’ve had the hymn ‘Come Ye Thankful People Come’ in my head for some days now. The line all is safely gathered in, in particular, stands out to me, as that describes perfectly the readiness of Grandma Jean to meet her Lord. A perfect hymn for this harvest season, when Grandma Jean went Home:
raise the song of harvest home;
all is safely gathered in,
ere the winter 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.
All the world is God’s own field,
fruit as praise to God we yield;
wheat and tares together sown
are to 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.
For the Lord our God shall come,
and shall take the harvest home;
from the field shall in that day
all offenses purge away,
give his angels charge at last
in the fire the tares to cast;
but the fruitful ears to store
in the garner evermore.
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.
Words: Henry Alford, 1844