In Everything Give Thanks (2) - Salvation Army Canada
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    In Everything Give Thanks (2)

    Retrospective #26 October 9, 2017 Randy C. Hicks
    Thank You!
    Thank You!

    It was my first year in a particular Corps appointment and I was preparing my Order of Worship for Thanksgiving Sunday. I had chosen what I thought was a suitable bulletin cover and my secretary readied the news for that edition. I then considered what songs of the season we might sing. Blessed with wonderfully talented musicians I was always confident that no matter my choices we would still have a great expression!

    Perhaps it’s a generational thing and as my doctor recently pointed out - next year I will change decades (for the first time ever I found that announcement set me back a little) nevertheless I have no shame in saying that in so far as our worship format goes I am more of a traditional soul than I am a contemporary one. (I can hear some of you tut-tutting “Well come on ol’ man sure yer workin’ at the archives, you have to be a traditionalist!”) That being so, my first choice of song was then number 930 in the 1987 SA Songbook, Knowles Shaw’s BRINGING IN THE SHEAVES. It was the eighth song under the “Harvest” banner in the “Special Occasions” section at the back of the book. Once started, the rest of the exercise was a breeze. Then, when it was completed, I took it to Mrs. (-) and returned to my office.

    Before I even managed to sit down at my desk I heard a strange sound and, I kid you not, it was coming from Mrs. (-)! Hesitantly I peered through my door, got up, and with great caution approached her desk “Is….. something….. wrong?” I asked. Pointing at the opening song on the order she said, with great conviction, “You cannot use this number on Sunday!” Being new to the setting and now suspecting that there was some incident from the past connected to this song and the corps, I sheepishly replied “No problem! I’ll just change it and bring it back.” As I started to walk away my nerve strengthened and I stopped in my tracks. Turning to her I asked. “By the way, why can’t I use this number on Sunday?” Her answer – “I hate that song!”

    Me: “You hate that song?”

    Mrs. (-): “Yes! I do not like it at all!”

    Me: “A nasty experience from your past perhaps?”

    Mrs. (-): “No.”

    Me: “Well?”

    Mrs. (-): “Whenever a church scene is depicted in the old Western Movies there’s always a congregation of hicks belting out this song, off key, while some dear old granny attacks the pump organ! It’s insulting and I just can’t sing the song any longer without that picture jumping into my head!”

    Me: “Bunch of hicks, did you say?”

    Mrs. (-): Now blushing profusely “You know what I mean.”

    We had a nice chuckle and I replaced the song with one that had a less “Western Movie” motif! In the meantime, I’m not sure if Mrs. (-) is aware of this page or will read this post but in case she does, begging her forgiveness, I’d like us to take a look at the old hymn and consider the simplistic meaning of this brilliant metaphor used by the author (first used of course by Jesus Himself).

    The lyrics were written in 1874 by Knowles Shaw, who was inspired by Psalm 126:6,

    "He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him."

    Shaw also wrote music for these words, but they are now usually set to a tune by George Minor, written in 1880.

    1. Sowing in the morning, sowing seeds of kindness,
    Sowing in the noontide and the dewy eve;
    Waiting for the harvest, and the time of reaping,
    We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.

    o Refrain:

    Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves,
    We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves;
    Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves,
    We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.

    2. Sowing in the sunshine, sowing in the shadows,
    Fearing neither clouds nor winter’s chilling breeze;
    By and by the harvest, and the labor ended,
    We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.

    3. Going forth with weeping, sowing for the Master,
    Though the loss sustained our spirit often grieves;
    When our weeping’s over, He will bid us welcome,
    We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.

    Again, I am surrounded here at the Archives by pictures of those who have plowed and prayed, planted and prayed, watered and prayed, tilled and prayed, weeded and prayed, pruned and prayed, wept and prayed and yes, yes there have been seasons of reaping and rejoicing!

    When I was the Secretary for Candidates I had the following verse, Luke 10:2 (from The Message) printed on my business cards: “What a huge harvest! And how few the harvest hands. So on your knees; ask the God of the Harvest to send harvest hands.”

    What say you?

    What role are you presently playing in the harvest?

    By the way, it might interest you to know the ending to the above story. Friday came and the bulletins were printed and ready for Thanksgiving Sunday! Three o’clock meant closing earlier as it was a holiday weekend. Mrs. (-) was on her way out the door when she shouted “See you on Tuesday!”

    Me: “Tuesday?”

    Mrs. (-): “Oh, Didn’t I tell you? We won’t be here on Sunday!”

    Me: "What? You're kidding right?"

    Mrs. (-): "No. We always visit with family on Thanksgiving weekend."

    Me: “BRINGING IN THE SHEAVES! BRINGING IN THE SHEAVES! WE SHALL COME REJOICING BRINGING IN THE SHEAVES!"

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