All good gifts around us are sent from heav'n above; then thank the Lord, O thank the Lord, for all his love.
The tradition of giving at harvest-time is found in the Bible. The people would give a tenth of the harvest to God. This was known as a tithe (see Leviticus 27: 30). In this country, farmers used to give a tithe of everything that came from the ground. They would give their crops, wool, or milk, which totalled an agreed amount of their yearly profits. Tithes were often given to help support the local church and its clergy (i.e. church workers). Grain was stored in huge tithe barns, many of which can still be seen today. Although this law no longer exists, many Christians still choose to give a tithe of the money they earn – 10% or more – to help with the work of the church.
The church building may be decorated with a display of flowers and food, perhaps including a large loaf in the shape of a wheat sheaf. Often people bring more gifts of food to add to the display during the church service.
Afterwards, the food will be sold to raise money for charity, or given directly to those in need. At harvest-time, the sharing of food helps Christians to remember that all good gifts come from God. Giving is a way of saying thank you to God in a practical way whilst remembering that He commanded all people to love and care for others.