Scout Sunday

Over 100 years ago, a couple of men envisioned a unique way of developing and mentoring boys in the process of becoming men. They used the wonder of the Great Outdoors to introduce their faith in God, their honor for Country and their duty to fellow man. The Boy Scouts of America has changed a great deal over the decades since but still produces men of character, honor and reverence for what is sacred.

 

This Sunday is Scout Sunday. It is the recognized celebration of the birthday of this amazing movement. Scout families all over the Country will worship at their own church or the host church where their son is offered the Scouting program. Boys and leaders will wear their uniforms proudly and be recognized for their honor and service to family, church and community.

 

Our congregation now sponsors the Troop that invited me to accompany them to Philmont Scout Ranch during my last year of eligibility to attend. We hiked over 80 miles together from one end of Philmont to the other enjoying and conquering the great outdoors in our own way. This Troop has now added a Cub Scout Pack where my daughter proudly leads the group that blessed her son for several years.

 

One of the great points of the Scout Law is the duty to be reverent. Reverence is a difficult concept for most of us but it wraps up the other 11 points of the Law in an honorable way.

 

Who could spend an afternoon in the woods or an evening under the stars without asking who created all the wonder that surrounds us? As Cecil Alexander wrote, “each little flower that opens, each little bird that sings, the river running by, the sunset and the morning, the cold wind in the winter, the tall trees in the greenwood; He gave us eyes to see them and lips that we might tell How great is God Almighty who has made all things well.”

 

Reverence for God involves giving God His due. He made all these wonders for us to enjoy. He also made us with a hunger for spiritual things and a longing to raise our hands to His glory. He asks us to honor others to demonstrate our love for Him. He calls us to serve rather than be served.

 

Part of reverence is respect for the beliefs of others. As we walk this road of life together, we have different experiences that call for a response. Some of our responses differ. Some even choose to worship a different god or to leave worship out of their lives altogether. Reverence involves inviting others but not demanding or demeaning others for being different. Learning to live among people different from ourselves is part of loving your neighbor as yourself.

 

Participate in Scout Sunday today. Honor the God who creates and loves us. Thank the leaders who devote their time to the next generation of leaders sitting in uniform at church. Greet the boys who have chosen to learn how to live better lives and serve their families and community in the process.

 

We are a stronger community and nation because of efforts like the Boy Scouts. I am a stronger man because dozens of strong men gave of their time to guide me.

 
Dr. Matt Crain writes weekly for the Sunday newspaper from his Connecting Fathers and Families ministry.