Thanksgiving, following a rich summer and autumn harvest, is quite an event in some countries. It is not observed as a holiday in this country down under. However, often in our autumnal season, April and May, a harvest festival of some sort graces church or home in appreciation of the richness of our world. Psalm 65, set for this Sunday amongst the alternate set of readings, is full of this sense of happiness at the fruitfulness of creation despite the fact that it falls in the middle of the southern winter.
After a prayer for forgiveness, the song goes on to remark upon the wonders of our world – fertile lands softened with good rains, mountains, roaring seas, amazing dawns.
Then, delight at what is going on within that scene – the river of God is full of water, flocks thrive, grains grow, the year is crowned with bounty, paths (or, rather quaintly in some versions ‘your wagon-tracks’) overflow with plenty.
Several of our sources pick up this theme.
- PFAS likes those paths that overflow with plenty.
- NCH chooses verse 5, (“God is the hope of all the ends of the earth”) for its refrain.
- An easy but tuneful little antiphon from The Emergent Psalter by Isaac Everett uses the final verse: “The fields are clothed with grain; the hills are bursting with song.” [This is the choice for SWUC this Sunday]