Robert Burns – Scotland’s National Bard
We visited the Robert Burns Museum and Memorial at Alloway recently, and also enjoyed looking around the cottage where he was born. Not surprisingly, later that week I started reading some of his poems again; what an amazing talent this man had!
One of my favourite poems is ‘The Cotter’s Saturday Night’, which gives such an amazing glimpse into life in rural Scotland in the second half of the eighteenth century. I decided to record a video of it, and you can see it here :-
The scene where the Cotter ‘Aitken’ gathers his family around to read from the Bible I relate to well. My parents you see, were born 100 years later at the end of the 19th century into families where alcohol was greatly abused. But both of them were to become followers of Jesus Christ at a young age, and after their marriage were keen to share their new found faith with their children. So I can look back to many nights when my father gathered us around the fire to read the Bible to us during the war years and beyond. His favourite psalm was 121, and his favourite verses Proverbs 3.5-6.
It’s a tradition we also taught our children as we believe that God speaks to us through this text, but now that they have all ‘flown the nest’ Muriel and I still carry it on. We read through the Bible at night and are currently in the book of Jeremiah, and in the morning we use Scripture Union notes. This morning’s reading was from John 15:12-14 where Jesus says ‘My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.’
If you don’t read the Bible you should try it, and before you start ask God to speak to you from its pages. I suggest you start with the Gospel of Mark or of John.