Scotland’s National Bard, Robert Burns, was born on January 25th 1759 and each year his birth is celebrated in a feast of food and words known as Burns Night or Burns Supper on or close to January 25th. Of his many words I take just a few today from his poem To a Louse and ask you to read them aloud and to yourself.
O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
An’ foolish notion:
What airs in dress an’ gait wad lea’e us,
An’ ev’n devotion!
Oh, would some Power give us the gift
To see ourselves as others see us!
It would from many a blunder free us,
And foolish notion:
What airs in dress and gait would leave us,
And even devotion!
In this moment of life, both national and international, many might say we are at a critical moment which needs truth telling, a calling for radical action and reformation of character and political reality. Today, we are challenged by the hidden force of a deadly virus and the not always quite hidden force of racism and injustice. Oh to have, as Burns says the ability to look from the outside and see for the first time what is actually going on inside. Let us give up “mirror, mirror on the wall” behavior, and ask for help in a bold behavior that sees things as they really are. Might seeing and doing “from many a blunder free us”, so we together work to make life what it might be in response to the Kingdom of God. The words from the inaugural poem by Amanda Gorman The Hill We Climb call us to account and fill us with hope knowing there is work to be done. “When day comes we step out of the shade, aflame and unafraid, the new dawn blooms as we free it. For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it”https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jan/20/amanda-gorman-poem-biden-inauguration-transcript
Prayer We marvel that we are created and marked with Imago Dei. O Creator God, we delight in the beauty of land and sea. we give thanks for the wind upon our back, the sun upon our face. O Creator God, let us cherish the colors of art, the moods of music, the wonder of words, as together we weave this Your gift of life. Help us to see ourselves as others see us transformed by Your Light, Love, and Grace. Above all help us to know that we are created Imago Dei. To You, O Lord, we pray and give thanks. Amen.