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Summary: How BP’s words equate with the Christian faith

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Scouts’ St George’s Day 2005

1 Cor 9:24-27

24Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

25Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

Our reading today is all about finishing the race that God has given to us – and that involves training so that we win the crown of life. But it is not a physical training that St Paul speaks of – it is a spiritual training too.

Lord Baden Powell’s (affectionately known as BP) writings breath with the spirit of religious devotion in his scouting ethos . The Scout Promise, places our duty to God in a place of priority, even before Queen and Country.

The very words of the Scout promise lead to these four observations:

1. A Scout Believes in God.

2. A Scout Commits to Serve God

3. Serving God Stimulates Personal Development

4. Serving God Requires Doing Good Deeds

God loves us as a Father – and wants to guide us during our life on earth.

BP (Lord Baden Powell) was one of the famous old boys of my school, Charterhouse.

He made his name in the Boer War as the defender of Mafeking from October 13, 1899 - in a siege against overwhelming number of the enemy, until relief forces finally fought their way to his help on 18th May, 1900..

By using boys for responsible jobs during the siege, he learned the good response youth give to a challenge.

BP (Lord Baden Powell) said this about faith:

No man is much good unless he believes in God and obeys His laws. So every Scout should have religion.

St Paul in our reading today would agree with Baden Powell.

The Christian is called to give his life to Jesus – not just on Sundays but on the other six days of the week too.

It is a full time commitment.

Serving God can be done in the most menial of tasks.

Martin Luther the great 16th Century Reformer said “A dairy maid can milk cows to the glory of God”.

May that be the challenge that you have as Scouts in the coming year.

For as Bertrand Russell once said: Unless you assume a God, the question of life’s purpose is meaningless.

Story: On B-P’s tombstone in Nyeri park, Kenya, there is a simple carved symbol consisting of a dot with a circle around it. The symbol means

"I have gone home."

The challenge that he leaves us is this.

Where is our ultimate destination.

If it is to be in heaven with God, we need to train for the race as we journey there.


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