As we read this selection from Joel, let us remember that he is writing to a people that have suffered ruin--invasion and famine. "Lament," Joel has told them, "and repent. Return to the Lord" (Joel 1:1-2:17).
The portion of Joel chosen for our Thanksgiving reading is a reminder to the people--those, then, and us, now, as well) that God has already done great things for us. And, as God will continue to do great things.
He uses as an examples the return of rain to the land and, as a consequence, the abundance of food. We can witness the presence of God in our life by paying attention to the gifts that come from God.
Psalm 126 offers a model prayer of thanksgiving:
....The Lord has done great things for us, and we rejoiced.
Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like the watercourses in the Negeb.
May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy.
Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy, carrying their sheaves.