Wednesday, Fourth Week in Advent
And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Before every Christmas dinner my family says The Selkirk Grace, a Scottish prayer written by Robert Burns. My dad is from Scotland and taught me this prayer when I was very little. I have recited it so often that I sometimes fail to pay attention to the meaning. However, when we say it at Christmas with everyone gathered around together, the message is renewed to me.
The Selkirk Grace by Robert Burns
"Some hae meat an' canna eat
an' some wad eat that want it.
But we hae meat an' we can eat
an' sae the Lord be thankit."
In translation this means that some people have food to eat but can't eat it because they are ill, and some don't have food but would love to have it. Fortunately, we have food to eat and are healthy, so thank the Lord.
This prayer fits well with the Christmas season because it reminds us to thank God for our blessings and remember those less fortunate than ourselves. Personally, Burns' prayer snaps me out of my own little world. While I'm all happy, in a nice house, surrounded by family, friends, presents, and food, there are people out there with literally nothing or who are in terrible situations. It makes me want to go out there and help every single one of them. Unfortunately, we don't have the power to solve every problem that each person is facing around the world. What we can do is spread the joy of Christmas to everyone and make a difference in any way we can. It doesn't have to be huge. Something as simple as smiling and holding the door open for a tired shopper, giving a few dollars to the Salvation Army, or baking cookies for your neighbor can go a long way.
This year, let's do our best to make sure that as many people as possible have the chance to experience God's love and a Merry Christmas! This includes Santa's reindeer too. Don't forget to leave out some carrots for them! :)
—Catherine Malcolm ‘14