Thou hast put more joy in my heart
than they have when their grain and wine abound.
The good solid earthy ancient Israelite knew a good thing when he saw it. And harvest time is a good thing. It’s not for nothing that we still enjoy a great feast at Thanksgiving or Christmas. But the inspired writer also knew (unlike so many moderns) that there were better things than earthly feasts—such as heavenly ones. Indeed, he instinctively saw the joy of God as something on a continuum with food, not as an alternative to it. The joy of the Lord is not a thing that is celebrated “instead of” when the grain and wine abound, but “more” than these earthly goods. God’s heavenly goodness is always a perfection of, not a replacement for, His natural gifts. Grace perfects, not destroys or replaces, nature. That is why the ultimate banquet — the Marriage Feast of the Lamb — continues to bring joy. For the grain and wine are now lifted up to Heaven by the power of God Himself to become the Body and Blood of Christ our joy. Today, thank God for the gifts of His bounty, both earthly and heavenly.