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Bring in the harvest!

From the November 2018 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Giving thanks is widely recognized as an important aspect of fruitful living—for individuals, families, communities, and nations. And gratitude is always important, especially when good seems absent. So it is encouraging that some nations have a designated Thanksgiving Day each year—in October in Canada, and in November in the United States, to name two. 

Throughout the world there are subnational and cultural celebrations of thanksgiving in various forms as well. These celebrations are often linked to post-harvest season—in appreciation for an abundant harvest. But that these celebrations go forward even when a harvest has been less than abundant, or is even so scanty that peoples’ lives are severely challenged, speaks to the resilience of the human heart—a resilience that opens the way for better things to come. When the Pilgrims celebrated their first Thanksgiving in what would become the United States, for example, it came after almost half of them had perished during a harsh winter. Their gratitude was a strength that enabled them to persevere and flourish.

Whether we’re looking for the harvest of crops, or the harvest of good in any avenue of life, gratitude can open our eyes to an abundance of good—and opportunities for greater good—right where it seems woefully lacking. Christ Jesus once spoke to his disciples about the necessity of looking for a harvest even when, by all appearances, there was nothing yet to be gleaned. He said, “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest” (John 4:35).

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