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The Big Book of Scout

Worship Services












Compiled by:

Pete Metzloff

For Woodbadge NE-IV-108

“I used to be a fox …”



Release 1.0

July, 1999

Table of Contents


Numerical Index of sample elements




Worship Service Planning Worksheet


How to Use this Manual


Typical Parts of a Worship Service


Sample Elements:


     1.  Call to Worship/Invocations


     2.  Opening Prayers


     3.  Other Openings


     4.  Scriptural Readings


     5.  Responsive Readings


     6.  Prayers


     7.  Meditations


     8.  Creeds


     9.  Songs


   10.  Closing Prayers


   11.  Benedictions


   12.  Graces


   13.  Offerings


   14.  Patriotic theme




Internet Resources


Non-Christian Services


Acknowledgements & Sources


Topical Index and Bible cross-reference



Numerical Index


Ref. #




Call to Worship

Scout Law #12


Call to Worship

The Lord’s Day


Call to Worship

Psalm 100


Call to Worship



Call to Worship

God Call Us


Call to Worship

Isaiah 40


Call to Worship

Psalm 106


Call to Worship

Psalm 100


Call to Worship

Psalm 95


Call to Worship

Isaiah 55:6


Call to Worship

A responsive call to worship


Call to Worship

Scout Law


Call to Worship

An American Indian call to worship





Opening Prayer

A Christian Opening Prayer (responsive)


Opening Prayer

A Prayer of Thanks


Opening Prayer






Other Opening

An Invocation


Other Opening

An Opening from Hebrews 10:22 - 25


Other Opening

Apostolic Greeting


Other Opening

The Kyrie


Other Opening






Scriptural Reading

Readings for Various Occasions, selected by the BSA Catholic Committee.  Topics include:

§         Scout Oath

§         Scout Law

§         Love of others

§         Service of God

§         Leadership

§         Country

§         Friendship

§         Obedience

§         On a hike

§         In camp


Scriptural Reading

Pay Your Debts (Romans 13)


Scriptural Reading

Wisdom (Job 28)


Scriptural Reading

Grace and Justification by Faith


Scriptural Reading

The Ten Commandments


Scriptural Reading

For Everything There is A Season


Scriptural Reading

In the Beginning (Genesis 1)


Scriptural Readings

The Way Made Straight (Isaiah 40)


Scriptural Reading

A New Covenant (Jeremiah 31)


Scriptural Reading

The Good Samaritan (Luke 10)


Scriptural Reading

The Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11)


Scriptural Reading

The Golden Rule (Mark 12:28)


Scriptural Reading

Lilies of the Field (Matthew 6:25)


Scriptural Reading

Psalm 103


Scriptural Reading

Psalm 104


Scriptural Reading

I will Make of You a Great Nation (Genesis 12)


Scriptural Reading

God is Not Mocked (Galatians 6)


Scriptural Reading

A Psalm of Nature (Psalm 19)


Scriptural Reading

A New Song (Psalm 98)





Responsive Reading

The Scout Law (version I)


Responsive Reading

On My Honor (based on the Scout Oath)


Responsive Reading

The Majesty of God (Psalm 8)


Responsive Reading

The King of Glory (Psalm 24)


Responsive Reading

Refuge and Strength (Psalm 46)


Responsive Reading

Bless the Lord (Psalm 103)


Responsive Reading

A Scout Litany


Responsive Reading

The Scout Oath


Responsive Reading

The Scout Law (version II)


Responsive Reading

The Scout Law (version III)


Responsive Reading

God is the Eternal One






Philmont Prayer



Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi



Camper’s Prayer



Morning Prayer



An Indian Prayer



Confessional Prayer



A general Confession



Prayer for Fair Weather



A Prayer for the Boy Scouts






Master of the Universe



Dakota Prayer






The Meaning of Reverence



The Duty of Prayer



A Scout Leader’s Wish



Green Blackboards



All Things Bright and Beautiful



B-P on Religion



The Road Not Taken



An Indian’s reflection on the Soul



The Indian Creed



A Scoutmaster’s Prayer (for Woodbadge or scouters function)



The Man in the Glass (a poem)



B-P’s Farewell Message to Scouts



Other B-P quotes on Religion



Eagles Soaring High



The Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25)
Do Your Best



A Shepherd Looks at the 23rd Psalm



The Arrow






The Eagle



What goes around, comes around






The Nicene Creed



The Apostles’ Creed



A Contemporary Affirmation of Faith






All Creatures of Our God and King



All Glory Laud & Honor



Amazing Grace






A Mighty Fortress Is Our God



America (My Country ‘Tis of Thee)



America the Beautiful



Battle Hymn of the Republic



Be Thou My Vision



Blest Be the Tie That Binds



Brother James Air (23rd Psalm)



Down by the Riverside






Fairest Lord Jesus (Beautiful Savior)



For the Beauty of the Earth



Great is Thy Faithfulness



God Bless America!



God of Our Fathers



Good News



He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands



How Great Thou Art



If I Had a Hammer



In Christ There Is No East or West



Jesus Loves Me



Joshua Fought the Battle of Jerico



Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee (Hymn to Joy)



Light One Candle



Michael, Row the Boat Ashore



Morning Has Broken



Now Thank we All Our God



O Worship the King



One More River to Cross



Onward Christian Solders



O God, Our Help in Ages Past



Praise Ye the Lord, the Almighty



Scout Vespers



Swing Low, Sweet Chariot






The God of Abraham Praise



They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our Love



This is My Father’s World



This Land Is Your Land



When the Saints Go Marching In





Closing Prayer

Psalm 121






Scoutmasters’ Benediction



A Woodbadge Benediction



An Indian Benediction



A Christian Benediction



A Scouting Benediction



An Old Irish Blessing



Responsive Benediction



Go Out With Joy (Isaiah 55)






Aaron’s Blessing






Philmont Grace



Horseshoe Camp Grace - Morning



Horseshoe Camp Grace – Noon



Horseshoe Camp Grace - Evening



A general purpose grace



A general purpose grace



A general purpose grace



A general purpose grace



A Christian grace



A Woodbadge (or special event) grace



A Scottish grace



If we have earned the right



Florida Sea Base grace






An Offering Prayer



An Offering Scripture





Patriotic Theme

The American’s Creed


Patriotic Theme

The First International Jamboree


Patriotic Theme



Patriotic Theme

Our Lives, Our Fortunes, Our Sacred Honor




"A Scout Is Reverent.  He is reverent toward God.  He is faithful in his religious duties.  He respects the beliefs of others."  So reads the twelfth point of the Scout Law.  Baden-Powell once said of the scouting movement:  “There is no religious side to the movement.  The whole of it is based on religion, that is, on the realization and service of God.” 


Having a non-denominational worship service should be a part of your Troop’s monthly camp out experience.  However, most scouts are somewhat uncomfortable leading such a service, however brief it may be.  This book is intended to be a resource of worship materials that you can pick from as you plan a worship service.  Go for it!


Like anything else in Scouting (or life, for that matter), practice makes perfect.  I have tried to gather together in one place enough material for you to do several worship services, provide a planning worksheet for the service itself and point you to where additional ideas and resources exist on the Internet.


Many scouters were kind enough to answer my plea for help with this project.  JLT graduates will recognize the concept of: “use your resources” and I am very grateful for all the support provided to me.  I have tried to incorporate everything that seemed relevant to the scope of this project, without duplicating items.  I have also tried to be mindful of copyright laws, so as necessary I have simply referred to a source available commercially.  Fortunately, God’s Word as contained in the Bible is not copyrighted.


Some readers will undoubtedly observe that there is a preponderance of Christian material in this book.  As Paul wrote in the first chapter of Romans, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ.”  We all speak from our own experiences and mine has been as a member of the Presbyterian denomination.  I am also grateful for the beautiful teachings of the Jewish covenant people.  I have read in the Muslim Koran that “Allah delights in the diversity of His people.”  As Scouts and Scouters, there is much more that we have in common than that which may separate us.


If you have additional material for possible inclusion in a future revision or just a comment on the usefulness of this book, I would love to hear from you.


Yours In Scouting,

Worship Service Planing Worksheet





Helper 1:                                                  

Helper 2:                                                  

Helper 3:                                                  


Includeü –Y/N


Possible Element


Element #

To be

done by


Title for actual program


Processional with flags






Call to worship












Opening hymn (#1)












Hymn (#2)






Responsive reading






Offering, if appropriate






Hymn (#3)






Scripture –Old Testament






Scripture –New Testament












The Lord’s Prayer






Closing Prayer






Hymn (#4)












Other notes:                                                                                          





How to Use this Manual



First, read the next section about the typical parts of a worship service.  After you have decided on a theme, use the planning worksheet (IN PENCIL!) to rough out the order of worship. You will most likely NOT want to do everything that is called for on the planning worksheet for any one particular service.  Like a good Broadway play, you want the service to end with the participants still wanting more.


Try to make you service as interactive as possible by providing opportunities for group discussion and dialog.  There is no reason for you as the worship leader to do everything.  At a minimum, assign some others to do the readings you have previously selected.


With respect to music, remember that musical abilities vary and you will probably not have much in the way of accompaniment.  Pick simple, familiar tunes to start that can be easily sung accapella.  Just because I have included all the verses in this book does not mean you have to try to sing them all.  It is a good idea to physically stand up for hymns.  This provides scouts with a chance to move around a little. 


Most of the scripture readings and responsive readings included in this book can be interchanged.  For example, element 4.1.2, the Beatitudes, is shown as a scriptural reading but with little modification could be set up as a responsive reading.  Element 9.29, a hymn, could also be a spoken invocation.


Finally, do a timed dry-run to gauge the length of the service.  You want to aim for something between ten and twenty minutes.


If you are serving your troop as the chaplain aid, keep the prior planning worksheets so you can refer back to them to see what things you have already used.


Use your computer to have a bulletin handout.  You are on your own as far as clip art is concerned.  This book is going to be a large file as it is!  Check with your local church secretary, use a scanner, or surf some of the internet sites listed in the back of the book.


What to do if you are really desperate:


All right, here are a few of worship services already planned out for you.



Elements, in order (post to the worksheet)


1.11, 9.15, 6.3, 9.4`, 4.7 or 4.18, 7.19, 11.8


2.3, 6.2, 9.20, 4.6, 11.3


1.6, 6.1, 9.42, 4.10, 7.7, 9.37, 11.6

At summer camp

1.1, 5.1, 4.1.31, 4.5 or 7.16, 11.10




A closing word from B-P, our founder:



To interest the boys, the Scouts' Own [i.e., a worship service] must be a cheery and varied function.  Short hymns (three verses are as a rule quite enough - never more than four); understandable prayers; a good address from a man who really understands boys  (a homely "talk" rather than address) which grips the boys, and in which they may laugh or applaud as the spirit moves them, so that they have a real interest in what is said.  If a man cannot make his point to keen boys in ten minutes he ought to be shot!  If he has not got them keen it would be better not to hold a Scouts' Own at all.


November 1928




Typical Parts of a Worship Service


The planning worksheet shows the typical parts of any worship service.  First, decide on a theme.  Is the service to be during a high adventure backpacking trip?  Perhaps the theme of “God in Nature” makes sense.  If you are aware of the religious or denominational background of the scouts in you troop, perhaps a rotational theme comparing and contrasting different beliefs over several services would be interesting.  Most scouts are more than willing to learn something of the aspects of different religions and to respect these differences.  Just make sure it does not become a put down for any one group or individual.


Other possible multi-part themes would be to work through great leaders in the Bible on a chronological basis.  A less formal discussion on one particular topic or paradox in the Bible can also work well.  Any theme which praises and then thanks God for the blessings of life or for some specific event in the life of the troop is always appropriate.


Once you have selected a theme, begin to pick music and scriptural or other readings.  Use the samples in this book or, if time permits, ask your own spiritual leader to help you choose others related to your theme.  Even though I have included some prayers these are better done extemporaneously.  A moment of silent prayer, meditation and reflection is always appropriate in a worship service.


One planning guide developed by a minister suggests each service should consists of a beginning, a middle and end:


§         The beginning explains the theme or why we are gathered.  Open with a reading or hymn of praise.


§         The middle should include a proclamation of the word of God and the meditation. Try to be aware of your audience, even to the extent of personal things you know are happening in peoples’ lives.  Try to think of some sort of physical thing that you can use as a prop during the discussion.  After the meditation should be a prayer.  Remember that prayers include thanks as well as requests.

§         The closing hymn and dismissal should cement the theme and conclude things on a high note. 

I have found it works well to have the worship service for a regular monthly camp out to be as a Saturday evening vesper service as a part of the overall evening and campfire program, rather than a hurried affair on Sunday morning.  Indeed the word vesper means west, as in a sunset.


Use the planning worksheet to produce an order of worship for the participants.  Try to have enough copies for everyone to have one, so there is no excuse not to participate. Your own copy can include more information, or the full text of passages to read.  You may want to use your computer to enlarge the typeface of these readings on your copy only to facilitate the delivery.


If your troop does not already have a songbook, think about making one over time to include favorite songs, including ones to be used during worship services.  These booklets can be collected and used over again.


An offering is normally not necessary or appropriate for a Scout service.  However, there may be occasions, such as a collection for the World Brotherhood of Scouting or a particular community need in which an offering would be in good taste.




Sample Elements


1.  Call to Worship / Invocation


1.1        Scout Law


           Leader:       A Scout is Reverent.  A Scout is reverent towards God.  He is faithful in his religious duties.  He respects the belief of others.      



1.2        The Lord’s Day


           Leader:       This is the day that the Lord has made.  Let us rejoice and be glad in it.




1.3        Psalm 100:2


           Leader:       Eternal God, open my lips, that my mouth may declare Your glory.


           Group:        Serve the Lord with gladness!  Come into his presence with singing.


1.4        Silence


           Leader:       The Lord is in His holy temple:

                             Let all the earth keep silence before Him.




1.5        God calls us


           Leader:       God calls us together to worship this morning.  From our work and play within the world, God gathers us to give thanks for creation’s goodness, for the strength to labor, for the wisdom to relax.     




1.6        Isaiah 40:31


           Leader:       But they who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.       


1.7               Psalm 106

Leader:       Praise the Lord!  O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;  for his steadfast love endures for ever!    

1.8               Psalm 100:3


           Leader:       Know that the Lord is God.  It is He who made us, and we are his;  we are His people, the sheep of his pasture.           


1.9               Psalm 95


           Leader:       Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;  Let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.

Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.       

1.10            Isaiah 55:6


           Leader:       Seek the Lord while he may be found:
call on him while he is near.

Let the wicked forsake his way
and the evil man his thoughts.

Let him turn to the Lord, and he will have
mercy on him, and to our God, for he will
freely pardon.    


1.11            A Responsive Call to Worship

Leader:             Oh, come let us sing to the Lord.

Unison:            Let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.

Leader:             For the Lord is a great God and a great king above all.

Unison:            For he is our God, and we are the people of His pasture and
                         the sheep of His hand.





1.12            Scout Oath
When facing deceit and dishonest, let us be trustworthy.
  If we see hypocrisy and faithlessness, let us be Loyal.

Where disregard of others and mere materialism prevail, let us be Helpful.
  In an atmosphere of ill manner, let us be courteous.

Where some measure manliness in brutality and crudeness, let us be Kind.
  Though lawbreaking and rule-scoffing are common, let us be Obedient.

While others grumble and grouch, let us be Cheerful.
  In an environment blighted by waste and extravagance, let us be Thrifty.

When confronted with danger and temptation, let us be Brave.
  As we see filth and pollution everywhere, let us be Clean.

While witnessing impiety and irreligion, let us remember to be Reverent.


1.13            An American Indian call to worship

O Great Spirit!  Watch over us as we begin this day. 
  Protect us as we live in your care.
Give us bounty and hold us from harm.
  We are your children and wish only to please you.
We hold our Mother Earth close to our hearts and wish her goodness.
  We thank you for your love.

2.  Opening Prayers


2.1               A Christian Opening Prayer (responsive)

Leader:   Let us worship God.  Jesus said:  I am the light of the world;  he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.

Unison:  This is the day that the Lord has made.  Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Leader:   God of Wisdom, grant us your Holy spirit, that we may hear your word and obediently do your will through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Unison:  Amen.


2.2               A Prayer of Thanks

We thank You, O God, for this day, for morning sun and evening star:  for flowering of trees and flowing of streams, for life-giving rains and cooling breeze; for the earth’s patient turning, the changing of seasons, the cycle of growth and decay, of life and death.  When our eyes behold the beauty and grandeur of your world, we see the wisdom, power and goodness of its Creator.  We awake and, behold!  It is a great day!

2.3               Brotherhood

May the time be not too distant, O Lord, when all your children will understand that they are brothers and sisters, so that, one in sprit and one in fellowship, they may be forever united before you.  Then shall your kingdom be established on earth, and the word of your prophet shall be fulfilled:  “The Lord will reign forever and ever.”  Amen


3.  Other Openings

3.1               An Invocation

It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praise to your name,
To proclaim your kindness at dawn, and your faithfulness throughout the night.
With ten-stringed instrument and lyre, with melody upon the harp.
For you make me glad, O Lord, by our deeds; at the hands of your works I rejoice.  How great are your works, O Lord!  How very deep are your thoughts!


3.2               An Opening from Hebrews 10:22-25

Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.  Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.  And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.  Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

3.3               Apostolic Greeting

Leader:  The grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Scouts:  And also with you.

3.4               The Kyrie

Leader:  In peace, let us pray to the Lord,

Scouts:  Lord, have mercy.

Leader:  For the peace of the whole world, for the well-being of the Church of God, and for the unity of all, let us pray to the Lord,

Scouts:  Lord, have mercy.

Leader:  For this holy assembly, and for all who offer here their worship and praise, let us pray to the Lord,

Scouts:  Lord, have mercy.

Leader:  Help, save, comfort, and defend us, gracious Lord.

Scouts:  Amen.

3.5               Service

The true servants of the gracious God are the following:

Those who walk upon earth with humility and when they are tempted by the evil ones, they respond:  peace;

Those who pass the hours of the night in prayers and standing before the Lord;

Those who pray:  Lord turn away from us the punishment of hell, for it is a heavy torment, it is indeed an evil dwelling place;

Those who are neither extravagant nor stingy in spending, but keeping a balance between the two;

Those who repent and believe and do good deeds.

(From the Koran, Al-Furquan, part 19, chapter 25)

4.  Scriptural Readings


There are many different translations of the Bible.  For the quotations in this book, I have used the New International Version.


4.1               Scriptural Readings for Various Occasions

The following citations of scriptural readings for various occasions was developed by the Catholic Committee of the BSA.




Scout Oath



Joshua 24:  14-18 and 22-24

Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness.  Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.  But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living.  But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.


Then the people answered, “Far be it from us to forsake the Lord to serve other gods!  It was the Lord our God himself who brought us and our fathers up out of Egypt, from the land of slavery, and performed those great signs before our eyes.  He protected us on our entire journey and among all the nations through which we traveled.  And the Lord drove out before us all the nations, including the Amorites, who lived in the land.  We too will serve the Lord, because he is our God.”


Then Joshua said, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen to serve the Lord.”


“Yes, we are witnesses,” they replied.


Now then,” said Joshua, “throw away the foreign gods that are among you and yield your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel.”


And the people said to Joshua, “We will serve the Lord our God and obey him.”


Scout Law



Matt 5: 1-16

The Beatitudes

Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down.  His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them, saying:


Blessed are the poor in spirit,

  for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn,

  for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,

  for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,

  for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful,

  for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart,

  for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,

  for they will be called sons of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,

  for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.


Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.  Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.


You are the salt of the earth.  But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?  It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.


You are the light of the world.  A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.   Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.




Gal 5: 22-26

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law.  Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.  Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.  Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.


Love of others



Dt 6: 5-6

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.




Lev 19: 18

Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself.  I am the Lord.




Mk 12: 30-33

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.  The second is this:  “Love your neighbor as yourself.  There is no commandment greater than these.”


“Well said, teacher,” the man replied.  “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him.  To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important that all burnt offerings and sacrifices.




Lk 6: 27-38

But I tell you who hear me:  Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.  If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also.  If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic.  Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.  Do to others as you would have them do to you.


If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?  Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them.  And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you.  Even ‘sinners’ do that.  And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you.  Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full.  But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back.  Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.  Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.


Do not judge, and you will not be judged.  Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.  Forgive, and you will be forgiven.  Give, and it will be given to you.  A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.  For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.




1 Cor 13: 1-13

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angles, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.


Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.


Love never fails.  But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled;  where there is knowledge, it will pass away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.  When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child;.  When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.  Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.  Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully know.


And now these three remain; faith, hope and love.  But the greatest of these is love.


Service of God



Psalm 100

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.

  Worship the Lord with gladness;

  come before him with joyful songs.


Know that the Lord is God.

  It is he who made us, and we are his;

  we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.


Enter his gates with thanksgiving

  And his courts with praise;

  Give thanks to him and praise his name.


For the Lord is good and his love endures forever.

  his faithfulness continues through all generation.




Acts 26:  12-18

On one of these journeys I was going to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests.  About noon, O king, as I was on the road, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, blazing around me and my companions.  We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?  It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’  [e.g., to rebel against authority as an ox objects to being goaded on by a stick.]


Then I asked, ‘Who are you Lord?”


“ ‘I am Jesus, who you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied.  Now get up and stand on your feet.  I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen of me and what I will show you.  I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles.  I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.”




I Cor 12: 1-11

Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant.  You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols.  Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.


There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.  There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.  There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.


Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.  To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.  All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.




Is 6: 8-10

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send?  And who will go for us?”


And I said, “Here am I.  Send me!”

He said, “Go and tell this people:


Be ever hearing, but never understanding;

be ever seeing, but never perceiving.

Make the heart of this people calloused;

  Make their ears dull and close their eyes

Otherwise they might see with their eyes,

  hear with their ears,

  understand with their hearts,

  and turn and be healed.




Jer 1:  9-10

Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “Now, I have put my words in your mouth.  See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”


Service of Others



Sirach 44: 1-15

Let us now praise famous men,
and our fathers in their generations.
The Lord apportioned to them great glory,
his majesty from the beginning.
There were those who ruled in their kingdoms,
and were men renowned for their power,
giving counsel by their understanding,
and proclaiming prophecies;
leaders of the people in their deliberations
and in understanding of learning for the people,
wise in their words of instruction;
those who composed musical tunes,
and set forth verses in writing;
rich men furnished with resources,
living peaceably in their habitations --
all these were honored in their generations,
and were the glory of their times.
There are some of them who have left a name,
so that men declare their praise.
And there are some who have no memorial,
who have perished as though they had not lived;
they have become as though they had not been born,
and so have their children after them.
But these were men of mercy,
whose righteous deeds have not been forgotten;
their prosperity will remain with their descendants,
and their inheritance to their children's children.
Their descendants stand by the covenants;
their children also, for their sake.
Their posterity will continue forever,
and their glory will not be blotted out.
Their bodies were buried in peace,
and their name lives to all generations.
Peoples will declare their wisdom,
and the congregation proclaims their praise.




Is 49: 1-5

Listen to me, you islands;

  Hear this, you distant nations:

Before I was born the Lord called me;

  From my birth he as made mention of my name.

He made my mouth like a sharpened sword,

  In the shadow of his hand he hid me;

He made me into a polished arrow

  and concealed me in his quiver.

He said to me, “You are my servant,

  Israel, in whom I will display my splendor.”

But I said, “I have labored to no purpose;

  I have spent my strength in vain and for nothing.

Yet what is due me is in the Lord’s hand,

  and my reward is with my God.”


And now the Lord says –

  He who formed me in the womb to be his servant

To bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel to himself,

For I am honored in the eyes of the Lord

  and my God has been my strength.




Mk 10: 45

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.





Lk  22: 24-27

Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest.  Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors.  But you are not to be like that.  Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves.  For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves?  Is it not the one who is at the table?  But I am among you as one who serves.




Rom 12: 1-18

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.  Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.


For by the grace given me I say to every one of you:  Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.  Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.  We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.  If a men’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith.  If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.


Love must be sincere.  Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.  Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.  Honor one another above yourselves.  Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.  Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  Share with God’s people who are in need, Practice hospitality.


Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.  Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.  Live in harmony with one another.  Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.  Do not be conceited.


Do not repay anyone evil for evil.  Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.  If it is possible, as far as it depends on you. Live at peace with everyone.





Lk 6: 43-45

No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.  Each tree is recognized by its own fruit.  People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers.  The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart.  For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.




Jn 13: 2-15

The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus.  Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.  After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.


He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”


Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”


“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”


Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”


“Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”


Jesus answered, “A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean.  And you are clean, though not every one of you.”  For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.


When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place.  “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them.  “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord’ and rightly so, for that is what I am.  Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.  I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 




1 Tim 4: 11-16

Command and teach these things.  Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.  Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.  Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you.


Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.  Watch your life and doctrine closely.  Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.





Mt 22: 15-22

Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words.  They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians.  “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.  You aren’t swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are.  Tell us then, what is your opinion?  Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”


But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me?  Show me the coin used for paying the tax.”  They brought him a denarius, and he asked them, “Whose portrait is this?  And whose inscription?”


“Caesar’s,” they replied.


Then he said to them “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s”


When the heard this, they were amazed.  So they left him and went away.




Rom 13: 1-7

Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.  The authorities that exist have been established by God.  Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.  For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong.  Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority?  Then do what is right and he will commend you.  For he is God’s servant to do you good.  But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing.  He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.  Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.


This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing.  Give everyone what you owe him: if you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.




1 Tim 2: 1-2

I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.





1 Sam 18: 1-4 and 19: 1-7

After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself.  From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return to his father’s house.  And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself.  Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.

Saul told his son Jonathan and all the attendants to kill David.  But Jonathan was very fond of David and warned him.  “My father Saul is looking for a chance to kill you.  Be on your guard tomorrow morning; go into hiding and stay there.  I will go out and stand with my father in the field, where you are.  I’ll speak to him about you and will tell you what I find out.”


Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father and said to him, “Let not the king do wrong to his servant David; he has not wronged you, and what he has done has benefited you greatly.  He took his life in his hands when he killed the Philistine.  The Lord won a great victory for all Israel, and you saw it and were glad.  Why then would you do wrong to an innocent man like David by killing him for no reason?”


Saul listened to Jonathan and took this oath: “As surely as the Lord lives, David will not be put to death.”


So Jonathan called David and told him the whole conversation.  He brought him to Saul, and David was with Saul as before.




Jn 15: 12-17

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command.  I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business.  Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.  You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last.  Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.  This is my command: Love each other.





1 Sam 22

Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord?

  To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.




Ps 40: 6-8

Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but my ears you have pierced,

  Burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require.

Then I said, “Here I am, I have come – it is written about me in the scroll. 

  I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is written within my heart.




Col 3: 20-21

Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.  Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.


On a hike



Lk 24: 13-35

Now the same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem.  They were talking with each other about everything that had happened.  As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him.  He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”


They stood still, their faced downcast.  One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?”


“What things?” he asked.


About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied.  “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people.  The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.  And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place.  In addition, some of our women amazed us.  They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body.  They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive.  Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.


He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken.  Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?”  And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.


As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going farther.  But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.”  So he went in to stay with them.


When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them.  Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.  They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”


They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem.  There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true!  The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.”  Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.


In camp



Gen 28: 10-19

Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Haran.  When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set.  Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep.  He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.  There above it stood the Lord, and he said:  “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac.  I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying.  Your descendants will be like he dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south.  All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.  I am with you and will watch over you where ever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”


When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.”  He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place!  This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.”


Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his dead and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it.  He called that place Bethel, though the city used to be called Luz.




Lev 26: 11-13

I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you.  I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people.  I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt so that you would no longer be slaves to the Egyptians; I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high.




Jn 1: 1-4 and 9-14 and 16-18

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.


Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.  In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 

The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.


He was in the world, and through the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.  He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.  Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.


The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.  We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.  For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.  No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.


4.2               Pay Your Debts

Romans 13: 8-14

Pay all your debts, except the debt of love for others.  You can never finish paying that!

If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill all the requirements of God’s law.  For the commandments against adultery and murder and stealing and coveting – and any other commandments – are summed up in this one commandment:  “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  Love does no wrong to anyone.  So love satisfies all of God’s requirements.

Another reason for right living is that you know how late it is; time is running out.  Wake up, for the coming of our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.  The night is almost gone, the day salvation will soon be here.  So don’t live in the darkness.  Get rid of your evil deeds.  Shed them like dirty clothes.  Clothe yourselves with the armor of right living, as those who live in the light!  We should be decent and true in everything we do, so that everyone can approve of our behavior.  Don’t participate in wild parties and getting drunk, or in adultery and immoral living, or in fighting and jealousy.  But let the lord Jesus Christ take control of you, and don’t think of ways to indulge your evil desires.

4.3        Wisdom

Job 28: 12-28

But where can wisdom be found?

  Where does understanding dwell?

Man does not comprehend its worth;

  it cannot be found in the land of the living.

The deep says, `It is not in me';

  the sea says, `It is not with me.'

It cannot be bought with the finest gold,

  nor can its price be weighed in silver.

It cannot be bought with the gold of Ophir,

  with precious onyx or sapphires.

Neither gold nor crystal can compare with it,

  nor can it be had for jewels of gold.

Coral and jasper are not worthy of mention;

  the price of wisdom is beyond rubies.

The topaz of Cush cannot compare with it;

  it cannot be bought with pure gold.


Where then does wisdom come from?

  Where does understanding dwell?

It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing,

  concealed even from the birds of the air.

Destruction and Death say,

  `Only a rumor of it has reached our ears.'

God understands the way to it

  and he alone knows where it dwells,

for he views the ends of the earth

  and sees everything under the heavens.

When he established the force of the wind

  and measured out the waters,

When he made a decree for the rain

  and a path for the thunderstorm,

Then he looked at wisdom and appraised it;

  he confirmed it and tested it.

And he said to man,

  “The fear of the Lord--that is wisdom,

  and to shun evil is understanding.”

4.4               Grace and Justification by Faith

Romans 5: 1-11

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.  Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him!  For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!  Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

4.5               The Ten Commandments

Exodus 20 (Also Deuteronomy 5)

And God spoke all these words:

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

 1.  You shall have no other gods before me.

 2.  You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.  You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

3.  You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

4.  Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.  Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God.  On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals nor the alien within your gates.  For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day.  Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

5.  Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

6.  You shall not murder.

 7.  You shall not commit adultery.

 8.  You shall not steal.

 9.  You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

10.  You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.  You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

4.6        For Everything There is a Season

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:

A time to be born and a time to die,

A time to plant and a time to uproot,


A time to kill and a time to heal,

A time to tear down and a time to build,


A time to weep and a time to laugh,

A time to mourn and a time to dance,


A time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

A time to embrace and a time to refrain,

A time to search and a time to give up,

A time to keep and a time to throw away,


A time to tear and a time to mend,

A time to be silent and a time to speak,


A time to love and a time to hate,

A time for war and a time for peace.


4.7  The Creation

Genesis 1

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.  God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.  God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.”  And there was evening, and there was morning – the first day.

And God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.”  So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it.  And it was so.  God called the expanse “sky.”  And there was evening, and there was morning – the second day.


And God said, "Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear." And it was so.  God called the dry ground "land," and the gathered waters he called "seas."  And God saw that it was good.


Then God said, "Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds."  And it was so.  The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds.  And God saw that it was good.  And there was evening, and there was morning--the third day.


And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth."  And it was so.  God made two great lights--the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night.  He also made the stars.  God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness.  And God saw that it was good.  And there was evening, and there was morning--the fourth day.


And God said, "Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky."  So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind.  And God saw that it was good.  God blessed them and said, "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth."  And there was evening, and there was morning--the fifth day.


And God said, "Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind."  And it was so.  God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds.  And God saw that it was good.


Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."


So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.


God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."


Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground--everything  that has the breath of life in it--I give every green plant for food." And it was so.


God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning--the sixth day.  Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.


By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.  And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.


4.8               The Way Made Straight

Isaiah 40:1

A voice of one calling:  “In the desert prepare the way for the Lord,
  made straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.

Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low:
  the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.

And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all mankind together will
  see it.  For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

4.9               A New Covenant

Jeremiah 31:33

 This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord.

“I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts.

“I will be their God, and they will be my people.

“No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’  because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.” Declares the Lord.

“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

4.10            Parable of the Good Samaritan

Luke 10:25

… “Jesus said:  “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jerico, when he fell into the hands of robbers.  They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.  A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.  So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.  But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.

He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine.  Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him.  The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper.  :Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.

Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

4.11            The Prodigal Son

Luke 15:11

… “There was a man who had two sons.  The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’  So he divided his property between them.

“Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.  After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need.  So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs.  He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

“When he came to his senses, he said, “How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!  I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.  I am no longer worthy to be called your son: make me like one of your hired men.”  So he got up and went to his father.

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

“The son said to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.  I am no longer worthy to be called your son.

“But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick!  Bring the best robe and put it on him.  Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.  Bring the fatted calf and kill it.  Let’s have a feast and celebrate.  For this son of mine was dead and is alive again;  he was lost and is found.’  So they began to celebrate.

Meanwhile, the older son was in the field.  When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing.  So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on.  ‘Your brother has come.’  he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fatted calf because he has him back safe and sound.’

The older brother became angry and refused to go in.  So his father went out and pleaded with him.  But he answered his father, ‘Look!  All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders.  Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.  But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fatted calf for him!

‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.  But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.

4.12            The Golden Rule

Mark 12:28

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating.  Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this:  ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’  The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no commandment greater than these.”

4.13            The Lilies of the Field

Matthew 6:25

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.  Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

Any why do you worry about clothes?  Se how the lilies of the field grow.  They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.   If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?  So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.

4.14            Psalm 103  (see 5.6 for a responsive reading version)

Praise the Lord, o my soul;
  all my inmost being, praise his holy name.

Praise the Lord, O my soul,
  and forget not all his benefits –
who forgives all your sins
  and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
  and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
  so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

4.15            Psalm 139

O Lord, you have searched me
  and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
  you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
  you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
  you know it completely, O Lord.

4.16            I Will Make of You a Great Nation

Genesis 12

The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your country,
your people and your father’s household
and go to the land I will show you.

“I will make you into a great nation
  and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
  and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
  and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
  will be blessed through you.”

4.17            God is Not Mocked

Galatians 6

Do not be deceived:  God cannot be mocked.  A man reaps what he sows.  The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction;  the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.  Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

4.18            A Psalm of Nature

Psalm 19

The heavens declare the glory of God;
  the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech:
  night after night they display knowledge.
There is no speech or language
  where their voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out into all the earth,
  their words to the ends of the word.

In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun,
  which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion.
Like a champion rejoicing to run his course.

It rises at one end of the heavens
  and makes its circuit to the other
nothing is hidden from its heat.

4.19            A New Song

Psalm 98  (Good News Bible)

Sing a new song to the Lord;  He has done wonderful things!  By His own power and holy strength, He as won the victory.  The Lord announced His victory; He made his saving power known to the nations.  He kept His promise to the people of Israel with loyalty and constant love for them.  All people everywhere have seen the victory of our God.

Sing out for joy to the Lord, all of the earth;  praises him with songs and shouts for joy!  Sing praises to the Lord!  Play music on the harps!  Blow trumpets and horns, and shout for joy to the Lord, our King.

Roar, sea, and every creature in you; sing earth and all who live on you!  Clap your hands, you rivers; you hills, sing together with joy before the Lord, because He comes to rule the earth. 

He will rule the peoples of the world with justice and fairness.  






5.  Responsive Readings

There are several responsive readings based on the Scout Law that various people have shared with me.  The usual format is to have the leader recite a particular Biblical passage that relates to the twelve points of the Scout Law, which are then repeated by the participants.  You can mix and match using the following table or simply use one of the ones provided.

A cross reference between the Scout Law and Biblical passages

 1.  Trustworthy

Exodus 20:16

Psalms 101:7

 2.  Loyal

Luke 16:10

Ruth 1:16

3 John 1:5

 3.  Helpful

Leviticus 19:18

Deuteronomy 15:11

Hebrews 13:16

Acts 20:35

1 Samuel 20.4

 4.  Friendly

Romans 12:10

Psalm 133:1

Amos 3:3

Proverbs 18:24

 5.  Courteous

Ephesians 4:29

Exodus 20:12

Titus 3:2

 6.  Kind

Proverbs 12:10

Proverbs 3:27

Ephesians 4:32

Leviticus 19:18

 7.  Obedient

Ephesians 6:1

Proverbs 23:12

Luke 2:51

 8.  Cheerful

Proverbs 15:13

Proverbs 17:22

John 16:33

 9.  Thrifty

Proverbs 6:5

Proverbs 21:20

10.  Brave

Deuteronomy 31:6

I Chronicles 28:20

11.  Clean

Psalm 24:3


12.  Reverent

Mark 12:30

Micah 6:8

5.1                           The Scout Law (version I) [1]

           Leader:       The Scout Law is a guiding light to millions of boys and young adults throughout the world today, but the principles of the Law have been brought to us from ancient days.  


                             You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.  (Exodus 20:16)


           Scouts:       A Scout is trustworthy.



           Leader:       He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and he who is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much.  (Luke 16:10)


           Scouts:       A Scout is loyal.



           Leader:       You shall not take vengeance or bear any grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself… (Leviticus 19:18)


                             For the poor will never cease out of the land;  therefore I command you, you shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in the land.  (Deuteronomy 15:11)


           Scouts:       A Scout is helpful.

           Leader:       Love one another with brotherly affection;  outdo one another in showing honor.  (Romans 12:10)


                             Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!  (Psalm 133)


           Scouts:       A Scout is friendly.

           Leader:       Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for edifying, as fits the occasion, that it may impart grace to those who hear.  (Ephesians 4:29)


           Scouts:       A Scout is courteous.



           Leader:       A righteous man has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicket is cruel.  (Proverbs 12:10)


           Scouts:       A Scout is kind.

           Leader:       Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.  Honor thy first commandment with promise;  that it may be well with thee and thou mayest live long on the earth.  (Ephesians 6:1)


           Scouts:       A Scout is obedient.



           Leader:       A glad heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is broken.  The mind of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouths of fools feed on folly.  All the days of the afflicted are evil, but a cheerful heart has a continual feast.  (Proverbs 15:13)


           Scouts:       A Scout is cheerful.



           Leader:       Go to the ant, O sluggard;  consider her ways, and be wise.  Without having any chief, officer or ruler, she prepares her food in summer, and gathers her sustenance in harvest.  (Proverbs 6:6)


           Scouts:       A Scout is thrifty.



           Leader:       Be strong and of good courage, do not fear or be in dread of them;  for it is the Lord your God who goes with you;  he will not fail you or forsake you.  (Deuteronomy 31:6)


           Scouts:       A Scout is brave.



           Leader:       Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?  And who shall stand in his holy place?  He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false, and does not swear deceitfully.  He will receive blessing from the Lord, and vindication from the God of his salvation. (Psalm 24: 3)


           Scouts:       A Scout is clean.

           Leader:       And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.  This is the first commandment.  (Mark 12:30)


           Scouts:       A Scout is reverent, he is reverent toward God.  He is faithful in his religious duties and respects the convictions of others in matters of custom and religion.


5.2                           On My Honor

           Leader:       All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.  (Psalm 25:10)


           Scouts:       On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country.


           Leader:       Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom he has chosen as his inheritance.   (Psalm 33:12)


                             My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; for length of days and years of life and abundant welfare will they give you.  (Proverbs 3:1)


           Scouts:       On my honor, I will do my best to obey the Scout Law – and the Law is this:  A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.


           Leader:       And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  (Matthew 22:37)


                             Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.  (Matthew 5:16)


           Scouts:       On my honor, I will do my best to help other people at all times.


           Leader:       Remember also the Golden Text:  “And as you wish that men would do to you, do so to them. (Luke 6:31)


                             Do you know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?  If any one destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him.  For God’s temple is holy, and that temple you are.  (I Corinthians 3:16)


           Scouts:       On my honor, I will do my best to keep myself mentally awake.


           Leader:       Wisdom is the principal thing:  Do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.  Get wisdom; get insight.  (Proverbs 4:5)


                             How can a young man keep his way pure?  By guarding it according to thy word.  (Psalm 119:9)


           Scouts:       On my honor, I will do my best to keep myself morally straight.


           Leader:       Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.  (Isaiah 55:7)

5.3    The Majesty of God (Psalm 8)

           Leader:       O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is thy name in all the earth!


           Scouts:       Thou whose glory above the heavens is chanted by the mouth of babes and infants,


           Leader:       Thou hast founded a bulwark because of thy foes,


           Scouts:       To still the enemy and the avenger.

           Leader:       When I look at thy heavens, the work of thy fingers,


           Scouts:       The moon and the stars which thou hast established;


           Leader:       What is man that thou art mindful of him,


           Scouts:       And the son of man that thou dost care for him?


           Leader:       Yet thou hast made him little less than God,


           Scouts:       And dost crown him with glory and honor.


           Leader:       Thou hast given him dominion over the works of thy hands;


           Scouts:       Thou hast put all things under his feet,


           Leader:       All sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field,


           Scouts:       The birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the sea.


           Unison:       O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is thy name in all the earth!



5.4    The King of Glory (Psalm 24)

           Leader:       The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, hands;


           Scouts:       The world and those who dwell therein;


           Leader:       For he has founded it upon the seas,


           Scouts:       And established it upon the rivers.


           Leader:       Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?


           Scouts:       And who shall stand in his holy place?


           Leader:       The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, hands;


           Scouts:       Thou hast put all things under his feet,


           Leader:       He who has clean hands and a pure heart,


           Scouts:       Who does not lift up his soul to what is false, and does not swear deceitfully.


           Leader:       He will receive blessing from the Lord,


           Scouts:       And vindication from the God of his salvation.


           Leader:       Such is the generation of those who seek him,


           Scouts:       Who seek the face of the God of Jacob.


           Leader:       Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors!


           Scouts:       That the King of glory may come in.


           Leader:       Who is the King of Glory?


           Scouts:       The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in battle!


           Leader:       Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors!


           Scouts:       That the King of glory may come in!


           Leader:       Who is the King of glory?


           Scouts:       The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory.




5.5    Refuge and Strength (Psalm 46)


           Leader:       God is our refuge and strength,


           Scouts:       A very present help in trouble.


           Leader:       Therefore we will not fear though the earth should change,


           Scouts:       Though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;


           Leader:       Though its waters roar and foam,


           Scouts:       Though the mountains tremble with its tumult.


           Leader:       There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,


           Scouts:       The holy habitation of the Most High.


           Leader:       God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved;


           Scouts:       God will help her right early.


           Leader:       The Lord of hosts is with us;


           Scouts:       The God of Jacob is our refuge.


           Leader:       Come, behold the works of the Lord, how he has wrought desolations in the earth.


           Scouts:       He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;  he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear, he burns the chariots with fire!


           Leader:       “Be still, and know that I am God.


           Scouts:       I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth!”


           Leader:       The God of Jacob is our refuge.


           Scouts:       The God of Jacob is our refuge.

5.6    Bless the Lord (Psalm 103)


           Leader:       Bless the Lord, O my soul;


           Scouts:       And all that is within me, bless his holy name!


           Leader:       Bless the Lord, O my soul;


           Scouts:       And forget not all his benefits,

           Leader:       Who forgives all your iniquity,


           Scouts:       Who heals all your diseases,

           Leader:       Who redeems your life from the Pit,


           Scouts:       Who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,

           Leader:       Who satisfies you with good as long as you live


           Scouts:       So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

           Leader:       The Lord works vindication and justice for all who are oppressed.


           Scouts:       He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel.

           Leader:       The Lord is merciful and gracious,


           Scouts:       Slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

           Leader:       He will not always chide,


           Scouts:       Nor will he keep his anger for ever.

           Leader:       He does not deal with us according to our sins,


           Scouts:       Nor requite us according to our iniquities.

           Leader:       For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;


           Scouts:       As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

           Leader:       As a father loves his children, so the Lord loves those who fear him.

           Scouts:       For he knows our frame;  he remembers that we are dust.

           Leader:       As for man, his days are like grass;.

           Scouts:       He flourishes like a flower of the field.

           Leader:       For the wind passes over it, and it is gone,

           Scouts:       And its place knows it no more.

           Leader:       But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon those who fear him,

           Scouts:       And his righteousness to children’s children, o those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments.

           Leader:       The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,

           Scouts:       And his kingdom rules over all.

           Leader:       Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word!

           Scouts:       Bless the Lord, all his hosts, his ministers that do his will!

           Leader:       Bless the Lord, all his works, in all places of his dominion.

           Scouts:       Bless the Lord, O my soul!


5.7                           A Scout Litany

Leader:      A true and worthy person recognizes his obligations and does them without being watched or compelled.

Scouts:     A scout is trustworthy.

Leader:      We owe much to many – to home, school, community, nation, and to God.

Scouts:     A scout is loyal.

Leader:      The good Samaritan showed the spirit of doing a Good Turn.

Scouts:     A scout is helpful.

Leader:      Courtesy is the mark of all faiths.  It is shown in thoughtful acts and kindly respect for everyone.

Scouts:     A scout is courteous.

Leader:      Kindliness is the way people show respect for others.

Scouts:     A scout is kind.

Leader:      Life is filled with things that we must do whether we like them or not.  One of the marks of growing up is our readiness to accept responsibilities willingly.

Scouts:     A scout is obedient.

Leader:      Our moods make our days.  If we are grouchy, our day is gloomy.  If we are happy, our day is always happier.

Scouts:     A scout is cheerful.

Leader:      The world offers many gifts.  A wise person uses them with care.

Scouts:     A scout is thrifty.

Leader:      To each of us comes danger, difficult tasks, and temptations.  In choice of courage or cowardice, may we be brave.

Scouts:     A scout is brave.

Leader:      Cleanliness is next to Godliness.  To have a clean body, a clean mind, and a clean record is a rewarding achievement.

Scouts:     A scout is clean.

Leader:      Character is determined by the things we worship.  If we respect ourselves and our brothers and sisters, and see them as gifts of the goodness of God, we live on a high plane.

Scouts:     A Scout is reverent.

All:           Give us clean hands, clean words, and clean thoughts, O God.   Teach us the work hard and to play fairly.  Forgive us when we are unkind and help us to help others.  Send us strength to do a good turn each day and so to live after Thy will.  Amen.

5.8                  The Scout Oath

Leader:      Our honor is a quality we possess because of our dignity as human beings and children of God.  Our ‘best’ means to give all we have.  It means to keep striving to do what we know is right, and in the Oath it means we will try to be good Scouts by fulfilling our Scout duties as expressed in the Scout law.

Scouts:     On my honor I will do my best.

Leader:      Our duty to God and country means chiefly two things:  obedience and loyalty.  The duties we owe to God, to our country, to our parents, to one another, and to ourselves come from some command of God.  The Scout Law sums up all the qualities a Scout should have and without which he cannot be a good Scout.

Scouts:     To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law.

Leader:      Our Lord told us that love of neighbor was like the first law of love of God.  The first children of God were known by the love they had for one another.  Real human charity or love prompts us to want to help others at all times.  Our Scout training will give us skills and knowledge that will put us in a better position to do this.

Scouts:     To help other people at all times.

Leader:      Scouting offers us many opportunities to grow physically.  To be alert and ready requires us to give special care to those gifts of soul – intellect and will – that make us unto God.  “Morally straight” means we must try to know what is right and true, and to love what is good and choose it.

Scouts:     To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.

5.9                  The Scout Law (version II)

Leader:       The person who is dishonest shall not live in My house;  the person who is untruthful shall not stand before My eyes.  (Psalms 101:7)

Scouts:       A scout is Trustworthy.

Leader:       Do not beg me to leave you or to return from following after you, for where you go I will go;  and where you stay, I will stay.  (Ruth 1:16)

Scouts:       A scout is Loyal.

Leader:       You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  (Leviticus 19:18)

Scouts:       A scout is Helpful.
Leader:       Can two walk together unless they agree?  (Amos 3:3)

Scouts:       A scout is friendly.

Leader:       Honor your Father and your Mother.  (Exodus 20:12)

Scouts:       A scout is Courteous.

Leader:       Withhold not good from the person to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do it.  (Proverbs 3:27)

Scouts:       A scout is Kind.

Leader:       Apply your heart to instruction, and your ears to the words of knowledge.  (Proverbs 23:12).

Scouts:       A scout is Obedient.

Leader:       A glad heart is good medicine.  (Proverbs 17:22)

Scouts:       A scout is cheerful.

Leader:       Precious treasure remains in a wise person’s dwelling, but a foolish person uses it up.  (Proverbs 21:20)

Scouts:       A scout is Thrifty.

Leader:       Be strong and of good courage.  (I Chronicles 28:20).

Scouts:       A scout is Brave.

Leader:       Who shall ascend the mountain of the Lord?  And who shall stand in His holy place?  The person who has clean hands and a pure heart.  (Psalms 24: 3)

Scouts:       A scout is Clean.

Leader:       It has been told to you what is good, and what the Lord requires of you;  Only to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.  (Micah 6:8)

Scouts:       A scout is Reverent.


5.10               The Scout Law (version III)

Scouts:       A scout is Trustworthy.

Leader:       No one who practices deceit shall remain in my house;  no one who utters lies shall continue in my presence.  (Psalm 101:7)

Scouts:       A scout is Loyal.

Leader:       It is a loyal thing you do when you render any service to the friends, even though they are strangers to you.  (3 John 1:5)

Scouts:       A scout is Helpful.

Leader:       In all this I have given you an example that by such work we must help the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, for he himself said, “it is more blessed to give than to receive.”  (Acts 20: 35)

Scouts:       A scout is Friendly.
Leader:       Some friends play at friendship, but a true friend sticks close than a brother.  (Proverbs 18:24)

Scouts:       A scout is Courteous.

Leader:       Remind them to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show courtesy to everyone.  (Titus 3:2)

Scouts:       A scout is Kind.

Leader:       Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.  (Ephesians 4:32)

Scouts:       A scout is Obedient.

Leader:       So, Jesus went back with them to Nazareth, where he was obedient to them.  His mother treasured all these things in her heart.  (Luke 2:51)

Scouts:       A scout is Cheerful.

Leader:       In the world you have tribulation’ but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.  (John 16:33)

Scouts:       A scout is Thrifty.

Leader:       Precious treasure remains in the house of the wise, but the fool devours it.  (Proverbs 21:20)

Scouts:       A scout is Brave.

Leader:       Be strong and of good courage.  (I Chronicles 28:20)

Scouts:       A scout is Clean.

Leader:       Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?  And who shall stand in his holy place?  Those who have clean hands and pure hearts.  (Psalm 24:3)

Scouts:       A scout is Reverent.

Leader:       And what does he Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.  (Micah 6:8)

5.11     God is the Eternal One (Adon Olam)

Leader:       God is the Eternal One,
                  Who reigned before any being had yet been created;
                  When all was done according to God’s will,
                  Already then God’s Name was Sovereign.

Scouts:      And after all has ceased to be,
                  Still will God reign in solitary majesty;
                   God was, God is, God shall be in glory.

Leader:       And God is One, without compare, without being, without end;
                  To God belongs power and dominion.

Scouts:      And the Sovereign of all is my own God,
                  My living Redeemer,
                  My rock in time of trouble and distress;
                  My banner and my Refuge,
                  My benefactor, to whom, in anguish, I can call.

All:             Into God’s hands I entrust my spirit,
                  Both when I sleep as when I wake;
                  And with my spirit, my body also:
                  God is with me,
                  I will not fear

This is an eleventh century Hebrew prayer composed by the Jewish poet and philosopher Solomon Ibn Gibirol


6.  Prayers

6.1               Philmont Prayer

Almighty God of hill and plain,
   O’er which we hike in sun and rain,
On mountain top and valley low,
   Protect us Lord where e’er we go.

And from our grateful hearts we’ll raise
   Glad hymns of thankfulness and praise.

(Tune:  U. S. Navy Hymn)

6.2               Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me a channel of Thy peace.
That where there is hatred, I may bring love.
That where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness.
That where there is discord, I may bring harmony.
That where there is error, I may bring truth.
That where there is doubt, I may bring faith.
That where there is despair, I may bring hope.
That where there are shadows, I may bring light.
That where there is sadness, I may bring joy.

Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted.
To understand rather than to be understood.
To love, than to be loved.

For it is by self-forgetting that one finds.
It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.
It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life.  Amen.

6.3               Camper’s Prayer

God of the mountains and hills, make me tall and strong.
Tall enough and strong enough to right some wrong.
God of the stars, make me steadfast and sure.
God of every lake and stream, flow through my life and make it clean.

God of the trees and woods, keep me fresh and pure.
God of the rain, wash from my life all dirt and stain.
Pure and strong let me remain.

God of the seed and soil, plant in my heart Thy love.
God of the darkness and day, through shadows or light, be my stay.
Guide Thou my way.

God of the radiant sun, light Thou my life.
God of the glorious dawn, make each day a fresh start.
God of the evening peace and quiet, keep me free from fear and strive.
God of the carefree birds, sing in my heart.

God of the surging waves and sea, wide horizons give to me.
Help me to see the world as Thou would have it be.
God of the lovely rose, make me lovely, too.
God of the morning dew, each day my faith renew.
God of all growing things, keep me growing, too.

            – George Earle Owen –

6.4               Morning Prayer

God, my Father, thank you for bringing me to the beginning of a new day;
thank You for the peace and rest of the night that is past.
Each day gives me many opportunities of expressing my love for You;
all my senses, all my talents come from you; by your power and presence help me to use them well today, doing everything for your honor.  Preserve me from all that is evil, so that all I think and do and say may be pleasing to You.  Amen.

6.5               An Indian Prayer

O’ great spirit, whose voice I hear in the winds, and whose breath gives life to all the world, hear me!  I am small and weak, I need your strength and wisdom.

Let me walk in beauty and make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset.

Make my hands respect the things you have made, and my ears sharp to hear your voice.

Make me wise so that I may know the things you have taught my people.

Let me learn the lessons you have hidden in every leaf and rock.

I seek strength, not to be greater than my brother, but to fight my greatest enemy – myself.

Make me always ready to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes.

So when life fades, as the fading sunset, my spirit may come to you without shame.

     Written by Chief Yellow Lark, Sioux, 1887

6.6               Confessional Prayer No. 1

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us;  but, if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

6.7               Confessional Prayer No. 2

Almighty and most merciful Father;  We have erred, and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep.  We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts.  We have offended against thy holy laws.  We have left undone those things which we ought to have done;  And we have done those things which we ought not to have done;  And there is no health in us.  But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders. Spare thou them, O God, which confess their faults.  Restore thou them that are penitent;  According to thy promises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesus our Lord.  And grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake;  That we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life,  To the glory of thy holy Name. Amen.

6.8               Prayer for Fair Weather

O Almighty Lord God, who for the sin of man didst once drown all the world, except eight persons, and afterward of thy great mercy didst promise never to destroy it so again:  We humbly beseech thee, that although we for our iniquities have worthily deserved a plague of rain and waters, yet upon our true repentance thou wilt send us such weather, as that we may receive the fruits of the earth in due season; and learn both by they punishment to amend our lives, and for thy clemency to give thee praise and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

6.9               A prayer for the Boy Scouts

O Lord, we thank you for the work of Sir Robert Baden-Powell, who is his dedication and wisdom founded the World Scouting Movement.

We thank you for the efforts of those thousands of men and women who have brought Scouting to millions of boys the world over.

We rededicate ourselves to the principles of our movement – To do our best, to do our duty To God and to our Country.

We ask you, O Lord, to give us the strength and courage, each of us, to live up to the Scout Oath, the Scout Law and the high ideals of the World Brotherhood of Scouting.


6.10            Moccasins

Great spirit, help me not to criticize others
  until I have walked a mile in their moccasins.

6.11            Master of the Universe

Master of the Universe, grant me the ability to be alone.
  May it be my custom to go outdoors each day
Among the threes and grass, among all living things.
  And there may I be alone, and enter into prayer,
  To talk with the one to whom I belong.

May I express there everything in my hear,
  And may all the foliage of the fields,
All grasses, trees and plants,  may they al awake at my coming,
  To send the powers of their life into the words of my prayer
So that my prayer and speech are made whole
  Through the life and the spirit of all growing things,
Which are made as one by their transcendent source.

Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav (1772 – 1811)

6.12      Dakota Prayer

O Almighty God,

you have always been,

and before you nothing has been.

There is no one to pray to but you.

The stars of the heavens are yours,

and yours are the grasses of the earth,

and the depths of the seas.

You are older than all need,

older than all pain and prayer.

Great God, fill us with light.

Give us strength to understand and eyes to see.

Teach us to walk the soft earth

as relatives to all that live.

Help us,

for without you we are nothing. Amen.



7.  Meditations

Some of these meditations are simply themes that you can use to develop your own remarks.  Other are full text presentations.  You will probably want to choose the latter until you are confident speaking in front of your group, but don’t wait too long before you accept the challenge of an extemporaneous meditation that is truly your own. 

One good source for meditation themes is to simply pay attention to the sermon on Sundays.  You can take a few notes and cut it down to the desired length!


Other sources are any of the “Chicken Soup” books.  Since these are copyrighted, I have not included any of them, but they can be purchased or obtained from the library.  A quick review of any of the books in the series will provide you with at least a dozen stories that would be appropriate for a scout service.  They also have a web site.  For a more biblical source, try looking through The Upper Room, a Christian devotional booklet service available at many churches.  It has a story and bible reverence for each day of the month.

7.1               The Meaning of Reverence

The word reverence refers to a profound respect for God.  The wonders of the world remind us of our God’s creative power.  We find it in the tiny lines of a leaf and the great mysteries of the universe.  It exists in the kindness of people and in the teachings of our families and religious leaders.

We sow our reverence by living our lives according to the ideals of our beliefs. 

The United States Constitution gives each of us complete freedom to believe and worship as we wish without fear of punishment.  All your life, you will encounter people who hold different religious beliefs or even none at all.  It is your duty to respect and defend the rights of others whose beliefs may differ from yours.

7.2               The Duty of Prayer

In the life of the Indian, there was only one inevitable duty – the duty of prayer – the daily recognition of the Unseen and Eternal.  His daily devotions were more necessary to him than daily food.  He wakes at daybreak, puts on his moccasins and steps down to the water’s edge.  Here he throws handfuls of clear, cold water into his face, or plunges in bodily.  After the bath, he stands erect before the advancing dawn, facing the sun as it dances upon the horizon, and offers his unspoken orison.  His mate may precede or follow him in his devotions, but never accompanies him.  Each soul must meet the morning sun, the new sweet earth and the Great Silence alone!

Whenever, in the course of the daily hunt the red hunter comes upon a scene that is strikingly beautiful or sublime – a black thundercloud with the rainbow’s glowing arch above the mountain, a white waterfall in the heart of a green gorge, a vast prairie tinged with the blood-red of sunset – he pauses for an instant in the attitude of worship.  He sees no need for setting apart one day in seven as a holy day, since to him all days are God’s.

7.3               A Scout Leader’s Wish

Deep reflection on my role causes me to pause.  Can I remember?  Can I be the leader I want to be?

Let me exhibit the qualities of those who I have admired, and shun the qualities of those I did not.

Let me create a safe haven for all who come to our troop.

Let me be as respectful of others and their ideas as I was when I saw an American Flag being ceremoniously retired by flame.

Let me have the humility to seek help from those more knowledgeable than I.

Let me remember, that in a Scout’s eyes, what I do speaks louder than what I say.

Let me have the patience to let the Scouts lead, fail and succeed.

Let me have the grace to praise the Scouts for the troop’s successes and accept the blame for its failures.

Let me have the perception and caring to seek out the troubled youth, the homesick camper, and the lonely Scout.

Let me have the creativity to help provide fun, spirit and knowledge.

Let me have the attentiveness to listen and respond completely,

Let me have enough time for deep reflection.

Let me have the necessary qualities and skill to instill the true meaning of the Scout Law, Oath, Motto, and Slogan.

Let me remember, but not be burdened by, the responsibilities of my position.

And please, Oh Lord, help me to watch over the Scouts under my care.

7.4               Green Blackboards

The school is up to date…

Proudly, the Principal enumerates all the new improvements.

The finest discovery, Lord, is the green blackboard.

The scientists have all studied the matter at length; they have made their experiments.

We now know that green is the ideal color.  It does not tire the eyes; it is quieting and relaxing.

   But it has occurred to me, Lord, that you didn’t wait so long to paint the trees and the meadows green.

We now know that green is the ideal color.  It does not tire the eyes; it is quieting and relaxing.

   But it has occurred to me, Lord, that you didn’t wait so long to paint the trees and the meadows green.

Your research laboratories were efficient, and in order not to tire us, you perfected a number of shades of green for your modern meadows.

And so the “finds” of men consist in discovering what you have thought from time immemorial.

Thank you, Lord, for being the good Father who gives His children the joy of discovering by themselves the treasures of His intelligence and love.

But keep us from believing that by ourselves, we have invented anything at all.

7.5               All Things Beautiful

All things bright and beautiful,
   All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
   The Lord God made them all.

Each little flower that opens,
   Each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colors,
   He made their tiny wings.

The purple-headed mountain,
   The river running by,
The sunset, and the morning,
   That brighten up the sky.

The cold wind in winter,
   The pleasant summer sun,
The ripe fruits in the garden,
   He made them every one.

The tall trees in the greenwood,
   The meadows where we play,
The rushes by the water,
   We gather every day.

He gave us eyes to see them,
   And lips that we might tell
How great is God Almighty,
   Who has made all things well.

            – Cecil Alexander -

7.6               B-P on Religion

The old knights were very religious.  They were always careful to attend religious services, especially before going into battle or undertaking any serious difficulty.  They considered it the right thing to be always prepared for death.  Besides worshipping God in church, the knights always recognized His work in the things that He made, such as animals, plants, and all scenery.

And so it is with peace Scouts today.

Wherever they go, they love the woodlands, the mountains, and the prairies, and they like to watch and know about the animals that inhabit them and the wonders of the flowers and plants.

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

Religion seems a very simple thing:  First, Love and serve God.  Second, love and serve your neighbor.

In doing your duty to God, always be grateful to Him.  Whenever you enjoy a pleasure or a good game, or succeed in doing a good thing, thank him for it, if only with a word or two, just as you say grace at a meal.  And it is a good thing to bless other people.  For instance, if you see a train starting off, just pray for God’s blessing on all that are in the train.

In doing your duty towards man, be helpful and generous, and also always be grateful for any kindness done to you, and be careful to show that you are grateful.  Remember again that a present given to you is not yours until you have thanked the giver for it.

While you are living your life on this earth, try to do something good which may remain after you.

One writer says:  “I often think that when the sun goes down the world is hidden by a big blanket from the light of heaven, but the stars are little holes pierced in that blanket by those who have done good deeds in this world.  The stars are not all the same size;  some are big, some are little, and some men have done great deeds and others have done small deeds, but they have made their hole in the blanket by doing good before they went to heaven.”

Try and make your hole in the blanket by good work while you are on this earth.

It is something to BE good, but it is far better to DO good.

7.7               The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day.
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh.
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by.
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

7.8               An Indian’s Reflection on the Soul

The soul of Man is immortal.  Whence it came into this world or whither (where) it goes when it departs, he does not know.  But when his time comes to die, he should remember that he is going on to the next world.  What the next life contains for him, he has no means of ascertaining.  Nevertheless, he should not approach it with fear and trembling, repenting and weeping over such things as he has left undone, or such things as he should not have done.  He should rest assured that he has done his best with the gifts and the limitations that were his, and that his condition there will be governed by his record and his behavior here.  Therefore, let him sing his Death Song, and go out like a hero going home.

7.9               The Indian Creed

There is one Great Spirit, the creator and ruler of all things, to whom we are responsible.  He is eternal, invisible, omniscient, omnipotent, unportrayable.  In and through Him all beings live and move; to Him all worship and allegiance are due; from Him all good things come.  Him we must approach with reverence;  His favor may be won by prayer, by sacrifice, and a kindly life; knowledge of Him, by discipline, by fasting, and by lonely vigil; and with that knowledge will come His guidance.  He is impersonal; yet at times inspiring or entering personally into animals, birds, clouds, rain, mountains, men or things.  Under Him are many lesser spirits.

Having arrived on this earth, the first duty of man is the attainment of perfect manhood, which is the just development of every part and power that go to make a man, and the fullest reasonable enjoyment of the same.  He must achieve manhood in the Body Way, the Mind Way, the Spirit Way, and the Service Way.

Having attained to high manhood, he must consecrate that manhood to the service of his people.  He must, above all, be a good provider for his family, a brave protector, a kind and helpful neighbor, and every ready to defend his family, his camp, or his Tribe from a foreign foe.

     Earnest Thompson Seton


7.10            A Scoutmaster’s Prayer (for Woodbadge or a Scouter functions)

A little boy came knocking at my Scout room door,
An awfully little fellow, just twelve and no more.
His eyes danced as he watched my gang at rowdy play.
“I would like to be a Scout,” he said, “I’m 12 just yesterday.”
In the weeks to come he found his place, a trim young Scout he made.
The tests he passed with eagerness, a thorough job sure paid.
The oath, the laws, the knots and flag were taken to his heart.
A better man he was sure to be tho he’d just begun to start.
By the candle-lighted darkness I watched his round face beam
As the oath and law he pledged to keep – just like a prayer it seemed.
The years to come were happy ones as we followed the trail –
That greater men had laid for us far up where eagles sail.
I watched him grow from boy to man, the days were far too few,
To try and teach the important things that Scouting said were true.
I didn’t know so long ago our nation he would defend,
I only saw a job to do, a helping hand to lend.
Now he’s flying higher still with silver wings up there.
I pray to God the job I did was better than just fair.
He thanked me once for what I did so many years ago.
It was not his thanks that paid me because he did not know
That greater thanks he’d given me a thousand times before
By his dancing eyes and smiling face – could one ask for more?
There are other boys a-knocking, I must invite them in.
Please, God, give me strength to make them better men.

     Buch Burshears, Scoutmaster
     Koshare Indian Dancers, La Junta, Colorado

7.11            The Man in the Glass

When you get what you want in your struggle for self,
And the world makes you king for a day,
Just go to a mirror and look at yourself,
And see what that man has to say.

For it isn’t your father or mother or wife
Whose judgment upon you must pass,
The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life,
Is the one staring back from the glass.

Some people might think you’re a straight-shooting chum,
And call you a wonderful guy.
But the man in the glass says you’re only a bum
If you can’t look him straight in the eye.

He’s the fellow to please, never mind all the rest
For he’s with you clear to the end.
And you’ve passed your most difficult, dangerous test
If the guy in the glass is your friend.

You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years
And get pats on the back as you pass,
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.

                -  Author unknown

7.12            B-P’s Farewell Message To Scouts

Dear Scouts:

If you have ever seen the play Peter Pan you will remember how the pirate chief was always making his dying speech because he was afraid that possibly when the time came for him to die he might not have time to get it off his chest.  It is much the same with me, and so, although I am not at this moment dying, I shall be doing so one of these days and I want to send you a parting word of good-bye.

Remember, it is the last you will ever hear from me, so think it over.

I have had a most happy life and I want each one of you to have as happy a life too.

I believe that God put us in this jolly world to be happy and enjoy life.  Happiness doesn’t come from being rich, nor merely from being successful in your career, nor by self-indulgence.  One step towards happiness is to make yourself healthy and strong while you are a boy, so that you can be useful and so can enjoy life when you are a man.

Nature study will show you how fill of beautiful and wonderful things God has made the world for you to enjoy.  Be contented with what you have got and make the best of it.  Look on the bright side of things instead of the gloomy one.

But the real way to get happiness is by giving out happiness to other people.  Try and leave this world a little better than you found it and when your turn comes to die, you can die happy in feeling that at any rate you have not wasted your time but have done your best.  “Be Prepared” in this way, to live happy and to die happy – stick to your Scout promise always – even after you have ceased to be a boy – and God help you to do it.

Your Friend,

Baden-Powell of Gilwell
September, 1940

7.13            Other B-P Quotes About Religion

When asked where religion came into Scouting, B-P replied:  “It does not come in at all.  It is already there.  It is a fundamental factor underlying Scouting and Guiding.”  (Religion and the Boy Scout and Girl Guides Movement, an address in 1926)

“I don’t mean by this the mere soldiering and sailoring services;  we have no military aim or practice in our movement;  but I mean the ideals of service for their fellow-men.  In other words, we aim for the practice of Christianity in their everyday life and dealings, and not merely the profession of its theology on Sundays.    The co-operation of tiny sea insects has brought about the formation of coral islands.  No enterprise is too big where there is goodwill and co-operation carrying it out.  Every day we are turning away boys anxious to join the Movement, because we have not the men or women to take them in hand.  There is a vast reserve of loyal patriotism and Christian spirit lying dormant in our nation today, mainly because it seems no direct opportunity for expressing itself.  Here in this joyous brotherhood there is a vast opportunity open to all in a happy work that shows results under your hands and a work that is worth while because it gives every man his chance of service for his fellow men and for God.”  (Scouting for Boys, 1908)

“No man is much good unless he believes in God and obeys His laws.  So every Scout should have a religion. … Religion seems a very simple thing:  First, Love and serve God.  Second:  Love and serve your neighbour.”  (Scouting for Boys)

“The atheists maintain that a religion that has to be learned from books written by men cannot be a true one.  But they don’t seem to see that besides printed books, God has given us, as one step, the great Book of nature to read;  and they cannot say that there is untruth there – the facts stand before them. … I do not suggest nature Study as a form of worship or as a substitute for religion, but I advocate the understanding of nature as a step, in certain cases, towards gaining religion.”  (Rovering to Success, 1930, p. 181)

“Development of outlook naturally begins with a respect for God, which we may best term ‘Reverence.’  Reverence to God and reverence for one’s neighbour and reverence for oneself as a servant of God, is the basis of every form of religion.  The method of expression of reverence to God varies with every sect and denomination.  What sect or denomination a boy belongs to depends, as a rule, on his parents' wishes.  It is they who decide.  It is our business to respect their wishes and to second their efforts to inculcate reverence, whatever form of religion the boy professes.  There may be many difficulties relating to the definition of the religious training in our Movement where so many different denominations exist, and the details of the expression of duty to God have, therefore, to be left largely in the hands of the local authority.  But there is no difficulty at all in suggesting the line to take on the human side, since direct duty to one’s neighbour is implied in almost every form of belief.”  (Aids to Scoutmastership 1919)   

Katharine Furse described him [B-P] with more than a hint of tongue-in-cheek as ‘the inspired mystic of Scouting,’ but this was actually how he was seen by millions.  This image owed much to his growing tendency to represent Scouting as a form of religion.  “Scouting is nothing less than applied Christianity,” he had written in the introduction to a pamphlet entitled Scouting and Christianity in 1917.  In 1921 in a pamphlet entitled The Religion in the Woods he argued that observing the beauties of nature was the best way in which to apprehend God and that no one religion held a monopoly of truth.  This made him very unpopular with churchmen.  … One churchman … accused Baden-Powell of “sweeping with one magnificent gesture the Christian Revelation, Mohammadanism, and all the rest, into a heap of private opinions which do not matter much.  In the next edition of the Headquarters Gazette, Baden-Powell obliged his horrified committee by assuring readers that it was “not his intention to attach Revealed Religion or to suggest a substitute for it.”  But he never regretted what he had said, nor that he had invited Muslims and Buddhists to recite prayers at Gilwell.  He quoted Carlyle as saying: “The religion of a man is not the creed he professes but his life – what he acts upon, and knows of life, and his duty in it.  A bad man who believes in a creed is no more religious than the good man who does not.”  Baden-Powell’s public refusal to countenance the exclusive claims of any one religion was accompanied by the increasingly fervent references to “God” in his speeches.  (The Boy-Man by Tim Jeal, p. 515)

7.14            Eagles Soaring High

Even those who are young grow weak; young men can fall exhausted.  But those who trust in the Lord will find their strength renewed.  They will rise on wings like eagles;  they will run and not get weary;  they will walk and not grow weak.”  (Isaiah 40:31)

Have you seen an eagle on the trail yet?  We can learn from eagles and from so much in nature.

One day, a fisherman watched as a mother eagle dropped a young eaglet into the canyon below.  The eaglet plummeted and fluttered.  It appeared that it was about to be dashed to its death on the rocks below, when out of the sky plunged the father eagle and caught his offspring on his broad back.  Then he flew up high and dropped the young one again.  This time the mother caught the little one on her back.  The routine was repeated until the little eagle learned to fly.

God gives us opportunities to try our wings so that we might learn to fly on our own.  Certainly, the _______ [Philmont/scounting/summer camp/high adventure] experience is one of these learning and growing opportunities.  Yet God always watches over us and spreads His wings of protection beneath us.

God said to the Israelites on their wilderness trek, “I bore you on eagles’ wings.”  Christ Who gave His life for us on the cross has promised, “I will be with you always,”  So lift up your head and rejoice!

(Closing unison prayer)  O Lord, when I grow weary, lift me up on your wings.  Give me the courage and strength I need for tomorrow.  Amen

7.15            Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14) / “Do Your Best”

“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them.  To one he gave five talents [a talent was worth more than a thousand dollars, a vast sum] of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability.  Then he went on his journey.  The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more.  So also, the one with the two talents gained two more.  But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them.  The man who had received the five talents brought the other five.  ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five talents.  See, I have gained five more.”

His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant!  You have been faithful with a few things;  I will put you in charge of many things.  Come and share your master’s happiness!”

The man with the two talents also came.  “Master,” he said, ‘you entrusted me with two talents;  see, I have gained two more.”

His master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant!  You have been faithful with a few things;  I will put you in charge of many tings.  Come and share your master’s happiness!”

Then the man who had received the one talent came.  “Master,” he said, “I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed.  So I was afraid and went out and hid you talent in the ground.  See, here is what belongs to you.’

His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant!  So you know that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed?  Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents.  For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance.  Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.  And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”


Interpretations:  No biblical passage puts matters on a personal basis more than the parable Jesus taught in Mt. 25 concerning talents.  He demands the very best of each of us.  Can be interwoven with the “do your best” part of the Scout Oath.

Do the best you can, always.

– We are not perfect (Phil. 3:14)
– We can’t give up (Gal. 6:9)

Always maintain a good attitude.
– A complaining view never helps.  (Ex. 16:2)
– It caused the one talent man to turn sour. (Mt. 25)
– Attitude is the key to life.  (Heb. 6:11)

Never compare yourself with others.
– We are given according to our abilities. (1 Cor. 12: 28)
– We are only asked to do the best we can. (2 Cor. 10:12)

Always give God the glory.
– The key to success.  (Mk. 9:41)
– The one talent man blamed God.  (Mk. 25:24)
– If the one talent man observed these points, his life would have been rich, productive and fulfilling.
– Sadly, he was cast out of the kingdom.  What should have been a joyful time became a shameful reflection of wasted opportunities.

7.16            A Shepherd Looks at the 23rd Psalm

This is a great book by Phillip Keller.  He worked as a shepherd.  You can find the book in your church or public library.  The following table summarizes some of the points of this book that can be used for a meditation.


The Lord is my shepherd

The psalm is written from the viewpoint of the sheep.  Common enough in middle east, few people in the US today are familiar with sheep. 


God call humans sheep because in many ways we are similarly dependent;  it is a long term relationship.


I shall not want

Want = (1) not lacking and (2) not craving or desiring anything more. Even people who are materially rich (success, affluence, prestige) are often poor in spirit, joyless; are owned by the wrong master.  Conversely, there gifts of the spirit.


He maketh me to lie down in green pastures

Sheep will lie down only if four conditions present:

§         Free of all fear.  They are very timid; a jack rabbet will spoof them.  No defense.  The presence of their master provides this freedom.

§         There is a “pecking order” in their society.  Constant friction is ended by the master being in view.

§         Nasal flies or parasites can torment.  Shepherd must dip them and monitor daily.

§         Need to find food/hunger.  Good green pasture is the result of much work by the Master.

He leadeth me beside still water

Thirsty sheep search; will drink anything, picking up disease and parasites.  We must drink the pure life water of Christ.  The Shepherd alone knows the still, quite, deep, clean pure water.


He restoreth my soul

A cast or cast-down sheep.  While looking for a soft spot, a sheep can roll over on its back like a turtle and be unable to right itself.  Will thrash around until restored by the shepherd or die.


He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his names sake

Creatures of habit, sheep will follow same trails until they are ruts or until the hills are barren/overgrazed/polluted.  Shepherd must have a plan for rotation.  Sheep are excited about the new pasture.  “I am the way, the truth, the life;  no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”


Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me

Half-way; now the Shepherd is talking.  African rods are weapons.  It draws sheep together, used to join a baby and mother separated (no human smell); to grab shy lambs or guide them through dangerous or difficult route.  It is never used to beat the animals.  Accordingly, the term ‘rod’ has a positive connotation.



Thou preparest a table for me

Spanish table = mesa or high plateau.  Shepherd visits high ground in spring, spreading salt for summer pilgrimage.

Thou anointest my head with oil

As noted, sheep are subject to many insect pests around nose.  Unaided, they will beat their heads against trees or kill themselves.  Once salve is applied, a transformation of peace.


Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me

This sums up the benefits enjoyed by the flock under the skill of the Good Shepherd.


I will in the House of the Lord forever

Another translation says:  “in the care of” i.e. the cycle of green pasture/still water/home ranch/upper mesa.  Live ever in God’s presence.






7.17            The Arrow

Arrows are used as an extension of the hunter’s arm, so they could reach out to a greater distance.  The arrow was and is used in almost every culture.  There are biblical lessons to be found in the arrow.

The Shaft (our bodies):
– Must be of good seasoned wood.  We are God’s tools in this world.  Moses was seasoned for almost forty years before he was of use to God.

– The arrow must be straight.  To fly a true course, the arrow can’t be crocked. 

The Head or Point (pure mind):
– A sharp point is needed to be able to penetrate the target.  Likewise, we should be alert at all time, doing nothing to dull our thoughts.  (Prov. 23:19)

– The point should be protected and checked often.  So too, what we think about, we will do.  (Prov. 23: 7)

The Feathers (God’s Word):
– To fly straight, the arrow needs balance and guidance.  God’s Word helps to guide our way.  (Ps. 119: 105)

– Feathers must be attached so that when shot, they stay on the shaft.  So too, God’s Word needs to be fixed in our hearts.  (Deut.11: 18)

The Bow String Notch (the place where God and man meet)
– The arrow has no power of its own.  To be used, it must be shot.  (Ps. 18: 32)

– The notch is the place where the string makes contact with the arrow.  Without a place for the string to rest, the arrow can’t be used.  For us, to be powered by God, we must be aligned with God.  (Amos 3:3)

The Quiver (God’s protection)
– It gives protection to the arrows.  While in the quiver, the arrows are protected from breakage.  In the same way, God protects us.  While we are in His care, nothing can harm us.  (Ps. 17: 8)

– The quiver is used to carry the group of arrows, which have no power in and of themselves.  God carries us and is always with us.  (Isaiah 40:10)

The Value of the Arrow (How God views man)
– The arrow made by the Indian by hand represented a large investment of time and skill.  They were guarded very closely.  In the same way, God made man special and gave him the ability to rule over all creation.  (Gen. 1:26)

– We represent a major investment by God.  He made us in His own image and after His likeness.  He has done and will do for us all we could ever expect.  God will help us if we do what He asks.  (Ps. 145:17) 

7.18            Rope

As scouts, we all have used rope many times.  We are very familiar with it.  What is it about rope that we can learn a lesson from?

It has many fibers.
– One fiber does not make a rope.

– Woven together, it is strong. Think also of Gods small creatures. (Prov. 30:27)

They consist of many different types of materials.
– No matter what they are made of, they are all rope.  Nylon is used for mountain climbing, poly for around water, hemp is plentiful and good for lashings, cotton for halters and lead ropes, etc.  As there are many different types and purposes for rope, so too is it with us.

– We are all different, but we are God’s children, created for a purpose.  Other examples include:  Moses, leading God’s people, trained by a King (Heb. 11:24); David leading God’s people, had no formal training (1 Sam. 16:11); Samuel, a prophet, was raised in the house of God (1 Sam. 1:24); Elisha, another prophet was called while plowing a field (1 Kings 19:19).

Rope needs to be held together (whipping, fusing) or it will come undone.
– God is the force that keeps us together.  Without him, life is nothing.  (Rev. 22:13)

– The fellowship of God’s people is what makes us strong.  (Gal. 6:1)

Rope will wear out.
– Over time, even the best rope will wear out.

– Our bodies get old and someday, will wear out.  (James 4:14)

– We need to be ready for that day (“be prepared”), so we can hear:  “Well done, thou good and faithful servant;  thou hast been faithful over a few things.  I will make thee ruler over many things.  Enter though into the joy of thy Lord.”  (Mat. 25:21)

7.19            Eagles

The eagle, the highest rank in scouting, is an animal referred to over 30 times in the Bible.  We can learn much from the Eagle.

Eagles make lasting commitments.

– They chose their mates for life, once they past the test.  So too, we should test things we do.  (Rev. 2:2)

– They stay with their nest all year, never head south for the winter.  This is like Joshua’s charge to the people of Israel found at Josh 24:14.

Eagles Build their nests in high places.

– They build their nest in the cleft of the rock, so they can keep a watch for anything that could harm them  (1 Peter 5:8)

– We also should set high standards for ourselves, always watching our character.  (1 Cor 15:33)

Eagles rise above the storms of life.

– Most birds flee a coming storm.  The eagle takes to the sky and faces the storm by rising above it.  (Rev. 2:10)

– Eagles prepare for the storm every day be preening their feathers.  This cleans and seals them, making themselves ready for the day of crisis.  We also can face our problems if we prepare each day.  (Phil. 4:13)

Eagles look to the son for strength.

– Eagles have two sets of eye lids that help them look directly into the sun.  (You can have a regular eye and the eye of Faith).  (Heb. 11:1)

– Three times when the eagle seeks out a high place and spreads its wings, it looks directly into the sum.  These are:

1.  When molting – look to Christ for change in your life.  (Rom. 12:1)

2.  When sick – Christ is the great physician.  (Matthew 9:12)

3.  When dying – In Christ there is no fear.  (1 Cor. 15:55 and Hosh. 13:14)



7.20            What Goes Around, Comes Around

A true story -


His name was Fleming, and he was a poor Scottish farmer.  One day, while

trying to make a living for his family, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby bog.  He dropped his tools and ran to the bog.  There, mired to his waist in black muck, was a terrified boy, screaming and struggling to free himself. Farmer Fleming saved the lad from what could have been a slow and terrifying death.


The next day, a fancy carriage pulled up to the Scotsman's sparse surroundings. An elegantly dressed nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy Farmer Fleming had saved. "I want to Repay you," said the nobleman. "You saved my son's life."


"No, I can't accept payment for what I did," the Scottish farmer replied, waving off the offer.  At that moment, the farmer's own son came to the door of the family hovel.


"Is that your son?" the nobleman asked.


"Yes," the farmer replied proudly.


"I'll make you a deal.  Let me take him and give him a good education.  If the lad is anything like his father, he'll grow to a man you can be proud of."


And that he did. In time, Farmer Fleming's son graduated from St.Mary's Hospital Medical School in London, and went on to become known throughout the world as the noted Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of Penicillin.


Years afterward, the nobleman's son was stricken with pneumonia.  What saved him?  Penicillin.


The name of the nobleman?  Lord Randolph Churchill.


His son's name?  Sir Winston Churchill.


Someone once said: What goes around comes around.


8.  Creeds


Creeds make good themes for a meditation portion of a service.  You can talk about the history of the creed from the background material provided, then have everyone recite the creed text as a closing.  As always, the presentation will be better if you talk about the creed in your own words rather than just reading it.



8.1 The Nicene Creed

We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible;

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten, mot made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate.  He suffered and was buried, and the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father.  And he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end.

And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets.  And we believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church.  We acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins.  And we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.  Amen.

Background Material

In the first three centuries, the church found itself in a hostile environment.  On the one hand, it grappled with the challenge of relating the language of the gospel, developed in a Hebraic and Jewish-Christian context, to a Graeco-Roman world.  On the other hand it was threatened not only by persecution, but also by ideals that were in conflict with the biblical witness.

In A.D. 312, Constantine won control of the Roman Empire in the battle of Milvian Bridge.  Attributing his victory to the intervention of Jesus Christ, he elevated Christianity to favored status in the in conflict with the empire.  “One God, one Lord, one faith, one church, one empire, one emperor” became his motto.

The new emperor soon discovered that “one faith and one church” were fractured by theological disputes, especially conflicting understandings of the nature of Christ, long a point of controversy.  Arius, a priest of the church in Alexandria, asserted that the divine Christ, the Word through whom all things have their existence, was created by God before the beginning of time.  Therefore, the divinity of Christ was similar to the divinity of God, but not of the same essence.  Arius was opposed by the bishop, Alexander, together with his associate and successor, Athanasius.  They affirmed that the divinity of Christ, the Son, is of the same substance as the divinity of God, the Father.  To hold otherwise, they said, was to open the possibility of polytheism, and to imply that knowledge of God in Christ was not final knowledge of God.

To counter a widening rift within the church, Constantine convened a council in Nicaea in A.D. 325.  A creed reflecting the position of Alexander and Athanasius was written and signed by a majority of the bishops.  Nevertheless, the two parties continued to battle each other.  In A.D. 381, a second council met in Constantinople.  It adopted a revised and expanded form of the A.D. 325 creed, now known as the Nicene Creed.

The Nicene Creed is the most ecumenical of creeds.  Most Protestant churches join with Eastern Orthodox and the Roman Catholic church in affirming it.  Nevertheless, in contrast to Eastern Orthodox churches, the western churches state that the Holy Spirit proceeds not only from the Father, but from the Father and the Son (Latin, filioque).  To the eastern churches, saying that the Holy Spirit proceeds from both Father and Son threatens the distinctiveness of the person of the Holy Spirit; to the western churches, the filioque guards the unity of the triune God.  This issue remains unresolved in the ecumenical dialogue.

8.2      The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried;  he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and siteth on the right hand of God the Father almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic Church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting.  Amen.


Although not written by apostles, the Apostles’ Creed reflects the theological formulations of the first century church.  The creed’s structure may be based on Jesus’ commandment to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  In a time when most Christians were illiterate, oral repetitions of the Apostles’ Creed, along with the Lord’s Prayer and the Ten Commandments, helped preserve and transmit the faith of the western churches.  The Apostles’ Creed played no role in Eastern Orthodoxy.

In the early church, Christians confess that “Jesus is Lord” but did not always understand the biblical context of lordship. The views of Marcion, a Christian living in Rome in the second century, further threatened the church’s understanding of Jesus as Lord.  Marcion read the Old Testament as referring to a tyrannical God who had created a flawed world.  Marcion believed that Jesus revealed, in contrast, a good God of love and mercy.   For Marcion, then, Jesus was not the Messiah proclaimed by the prophets, and the Old Testament was not Scripture.  Marcion proposed limiting Christian “Scripture” to Luke’s gospel (less the birth narrative and other parts that he felt expressed Jewish thinking) and to those letters of Paul that Marcion regarded as anti-Jewish.  Marcion’s views developed into a movement that lasted several centuries.

Around A.D. 180, Roman Christians developed an early form of the Apostles’ Creed to refute Marcion.  They affirmed that the God of creation is the Father of Jesus Christ, who was born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, was buried and raised from the dead, and ascended into heaven, where he rules with the Father.  They also affirmed belief in the Holy Sprit, the church, and the resurrection of the body.

Candidates for membership in the church, having undergone a lengthy period of moral and doctrinal instruction, were asked at baptism to state what they believed.  They responded in the words of this creed.

The Apostles’ Creed underwent further development.  In response to the question of readmitting those who had denied the faith during the persecutions of the second and third centuries, the church added, “I believe in the forgiveness of sins.”  In the fourth and fifth centuries, North African Christians debated the question of whether the church was an exclusive sect composed of the heroic few or an inclusive church of all who confessed Jesus Christ, leading to the addition of “holy” (belonging to God) and “catholic” (universal).  In Gaul, in the fifth century, the phrase “he descended into hell” came into the creed.  By the eighth century, the creed had attained its present form.

8.3         A Contemporary Affirmation of Faith

We believe in Jesus Christ the Lord,
Who was promised to the people of Israel,
Who came in the flesh to dwell among us,
Who announced the coming of the rule of God,
Who gathered disciples and taught them,
Who died on the cross to free us from sin,
Who rose from the dead to give us life and hope,
Who reigns in heaven at the right hand of God,
Who comes to judge and bring justice to victory.

We believe in God His Father,
Who raised Him from the dead,
Who created and sustains the universe,
Who acts to deliver His people in times of need,
Who desires all men everywhere to be saved,
Who rules over the destinies of men and nations,
Who continues to love men even when they reject Him.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,
Who is the form of God present in the church,
Who moves men to faith and obedience,
Who is the guarantee of our deliverance,
Who leads us to find God’s will in the Word,
Who assists those whom He renews in prayer,
Who guides us in discernment,
Who impels us to act together.

We believe God has made us His people,
To invite others to follow Christ,
To encourage one another to deeper commitment,
To proclaim forgiveness of sins and hope,
To reconcile men to God through word and deed,
To bear witness to the power of love over hate,
To proclaim Jesus the Lord over all,
To meet the daily tasks of life with purpose,
To suffer joyfully for the cause of right,
To the ends of the earth,
To the end of the age,
To the praise of His glory.  Amen.

9.  Songs


Songs should be the glue that holds your worship service together.  If you have a scout who is musically inclined, arrange for a guitar or other accompaniment.  If nothing else, have a pitch pipe or at least assign someone get everyone started on the same note.


To avoid violating copyright laws, I have not included the notes to the songs and sometimes not all the verses.  You do not have to use every verse if some of them seem unfamiliar or too difficult for an outside setting.  I have tried to select songs which should be fairly familiar to scouts.  If your sponsoring organization happens to be a church, you should be able to borrow some hymnbooks as an additional source, including notes.  You might even try the old custom of “lining” which is a process where the one person who has a book (in the old days, it may have been the one person who could actually read) sings the first line and then everyone else repeats the same line.


Where possible, I have also included a little information about the circumstances around which the hymn lyrics or tune was written.  The story behind the hymns can be a great way to introduce each song and add some interest to the service.


9.1               All Creatures of Our God and King

All creatures of our God and King, Life up your voice and with us sing.  Alleluia, Alleluia! Thou burning sun with golden beam, Thou silver moon with softer gleam, O praise Him, O praise him, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

Song Story: The lyrics were written in 1225 by St. Francis of Assisi, founder of the Franciscans, a great lover of nature and author of the prayer found as item 6.2.

9.2               All Glory, Laud & Honor

All glory, laud and honor to Thee, Redeemer, King,
  to whom the lips of children Made sweet hosannas ring:
Thou art the King of Israel, Thou David’s royal Son,
  Who in the Lord’s name comest, The King and blessed One!

9.3               Amazing Grace

Amazing grace -- how sweet the sound – that saved a wretch like me!
  I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, And grace my fears relieved;
  How precious did that grace appear The hour I first believed.

Thru many dangers, toils and snares I have already come;
  ‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun,
  We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise Than when we’d first begun.

The Lord has promised good to me, His Word my hope secures;
  He will my shield and portion be as long as life endures.

Song Story:  The author is John Newton, who was captain of a slave ship.  During a particularly stormy voyage, he became converted to Christianity and became a crusader against slavery and ultimately an Anglican pastor.  As a pastor, he wrote nearly 300 hymns to use in his church, including “Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken.”

9.4               Amen

Unison chorus:
Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen.

Solo counter melody:
See the baby, ly-in’ in a manger, on Christmas morning.
See Him at the temple, talkin’ to the elders, who marvelled at His wisdom.
See Him in the garden, talkin’ to the Father, in deepest sorrow.
Led before Pilate, then they crucified Him, but He rose on Easter.

9.5               A Might Fortress Is Our God
A mighty fortress is our God, A bulwark never failing;
  Our helper He amid the flood, Of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe  -- Doth seek to do work us woe – His craft and
  pow’r are great, And, armed with cruel hate, On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide -- Our striving would be losing,
  Were not the right Man on our side, The Man of God’s own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be?  Christ Jesus, it is He – Lord Sabaoth 
  his name, From age to age the same – And He must win the battle.

And tho this world, with devils filled, Should threaten to undo us,
  We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph thru us.
The prince of darkness grim – We tremble not for him;  His rage we
  can endure, For lo! His doom is sure – One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly pow’rs – No thanks to them -- abideth;
  The Spirit and the gifts are ours Thru Him who with us sideth.
Let goods and kindred go, This mortal life also;  The body
  They may kill:  God’s truth abideth still.  His kingdom is forever.

Song Story:  On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Wittenberg, Germany cathedral, launching what eventually became the Protestant Reformation.  One element of the reformation was the rediscovery of congregational singing, with Luther’s ‘Mighty Fortress’ being the most famous of his hymns.  The text is based on Psalm 46.  As marshal as this tune seems, Luther also wrote a beautiful alternative lullaby melody to the Christmas carol “Away in a Manger.”

9.6         America (My Country ‘Tis of Thee)

My country, ‘tis of thee, Sweet land of liberty,
  of thee I sing;  Land where my fathers died, Land of the pilgrim’s pride,
     from every mountain side Let freedom ring!

My native country, thee, Land of the noble free,
  Thy name I love:  I love thy rocks and rills, Thy woods and templed hills;
    My heart with rapture thrills Like that above.

Let music swell the breeze, And ring from all the trees,
  Sweet freedom’s song:  Let mortal tongues awake, Let all that breathe partake;
    Let rocks their silence break, The sound prolong.

Our fathers’ God, to Thee, Author of liberty,
  To Thee we sing:  Long may our land be bright With freedom’s holy light;
    Protect us by Thy might, Great God, our King!

Song Story:  Written by Samuel Francis Smith in 1832.  The tune had been used for at least a century before in England as “God Save the King”. 

9.7               America the Beautiful

O beautiful for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain,
  For purple mountain majesties Above the fruited plain!
America!  America!  God shed His grace on thee,
  And crown thy good with brotherhood From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for Pilgrim feet, Whose stern impassioned stress
  A thoroughfare for freedom beat Across the wilderness.
America!  America!  God mend thine every flaw,
  Confirm thy soul in self-control, Thy liberty in law.

O beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife,
  Who more than self their country loved, And mercy more than life.
America!  America!   May God thy gold refine
  Till all success be nobleness And every gain divine.

O beautiful for patriot dream That sees beyond the years,
  Thine alabaster cities gleam Undimmed by human tears.
America!  America!  God shed His grace on thee,
  And crown thy good with brotherhood From sea to shining sea!

9.8               Battle Hymn of the Republic

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord
  He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword -
  His truth is marching on.

Glory! Glory, hallelujah!  Glory! Glory, hallelujah!
Glory! Glory, hallelujah!  His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps,
  They have builded Him an alter in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps
  His day is marching on.  (Chorus)

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never sound retreat,
  He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat;
O be swift, my soul, to answer Him!  Be jubilant, my feet! --
  Our God is marching on.  (Chorus)

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born a cross the sea,
  With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me; 
As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.  (Chorus)

Song Story:  This is a civil war song.  The tune is also called ‘John Brown’s Body’ after the abolitionist who tried to free the slaves by conducting a raid at the Federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry.  It was commonly sung by recruits at the beginning of the war.  Julia Ward Howe, the wife of a physician serving in Washington, D.C. was asked to write more appropriate lyrics for the tune, which she did in one evening.  She received a royalty payment of five dollars for her efforts from the Atlantic Monthly magazine. 

9.9               Be Thou My Vision

Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart; 
   Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art:
Thou my best thought, by day or by night,
  Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be thou my wisdom, and Thou my true word;
  I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
High King of heaven, my victory won.

Riches I need not, nor man’s empty praise,
  Thou mine inheritance, now and always;
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of heaven, my treasure Thou art.

High King of heaven, my victory won,
  My I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heaven’s sun.
Heart of my own hear, whatever befall,
  Still be my vision, O ruler of all.

9.10            Blest Be the Tie That Binds

Blest be the tie that binds  Our hearts in Christian love!
  The fellowship of kindred minds  Is like to that above.
Before our Father’s throne  We pour our ardent prayers;
  Our fears, our hopes, our aims are one,  Our comforts and our cares.

We share our mutual woes,  Our mutual burdens bear;
  And often for each other flows The sympathizing tear.
When we asunder part  It gives us inward pain;
  But we shall still be joined in heart, And hope to meet again.

Song story:  John Fawcett was a Baptist minister in England during the 1700’s.  He pastored a small, poor congregation for many years before receiving a call to a much larger, affluent church.  On they day of departure, as the soon to be abandoned parishioners bade him farewell, he was inspired to write this song.  He unpacked and stayed with small church.


9.11            Brother James’ Air  (23rd Psalm)

The Lord’s my shepherd, I’ll not want, he makes me down to lie
  In pastures green he leadeth me, the quiet waters by
He leadeth me, he leadeth me, the quiet waters by.

My soul he doth restore again, & me to walk doth make
  Within the paths of blessedness, e’en for his own name’s sake (2X)

Yea, tho’ I pass thru shadowed vale yet will I fear no ill
  For thou art with me & thy rod & staff me comfort still
Thy rod & staff me comfort still, me conform still.

My table thou hast furnished in presence of my foes.
  My head with oil thou dost anoint & my cup overflows (2x)

Goodness & mercy all my days will surely follow me.
  And in my Father’s house always my dwelling place shall be.
And in my heart forever more thy dwelling place shall be.

9.12            Down by the Riverside

Gonna lay down my sword and shield,
  Down by the riverside, down by the riverside.
Gonna lay down my sword and shield, down by the riverside,
  And study war no more.

I ain’t gonna study war no more, * ain’t gonna study ware no more,
I ain’t gonna study war no more.  (repeat at * )

I’m gonna put on my long white robe, etc.  (Chorus)

I’m gonna talk with the Price of Peace, etc.  (Chorus)

I’m gonna join hands with ev’ryone, etc.  (Chorus)

I’m gonna lay down that atom bomb, etc.  (Chorus)


9.13            Doxology

Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
  Praise Him, all creatures here below.
Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host;
  Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

Song Story:  Also called the ‘Old Hundredth,’ the verse is based on a scriptural reference from the Psalm of that number.  In many hymn books it is printed as either the first or the 100th selection.  The verse was written by Thomas Ken, an English chaplain to King Charles II who was later imprisoned in the Tower of London by King James II.  The tune was written in the 1500’s by Louis Bourgeois, a Swiss composer and follower of John Calvin.


9.14            Fairest Lord Jesus  (Beautiful Savior or Crusaders’ Hymn)

Fairest Lord Jesus!  Ruler of all nature!  O Thou of God and man the Son!
  Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor, Thou my souls glory, joy and crown!

Fair are the meadows, Fairer still the woodlands, Robed in the blooming garb of spring:
  Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer, Who makes the woeful heart to sing.

Fair is the sunshine, Fairer still the moonlight, And all the twinkling starry host:
  Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer than all the angels heav’n can boast.

Beautiful Savior!  Lord of the nations!  Son of God and Son of Man!
  Glory and honor, Praise, adoration Now and forevermore be Thine!

Song story:  Legend has it that this hymn was sung by children, marching off to the crusades of the twelfth century.  Another story is that the lyrics are from a Polish folk song and used by John Hus, an early figure of the reformation.  In any case, the melody was written by a German composer, Richard Willlis, who also write the Christmas Carol “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear.”

9.15            For the Beauty of the Earth

For the beauty of the earth, For the glory of the skies,
  For the love which from our birth Over and around us lies:
Lord of all, to Thee we raise, This our hymn of grateful praise.

For the wonder of each hour Of the day and of the night.
  Hill and vale and tree and flow’r, Sun and moon and stars of light.
Lord of all, to Thee we raise, this our hymn of grateful praise.

Fore the joy of human love, Brother, sister, parent, child.
  Friends on earth and friends above, For all gentle thoughts and mild:
Lord of all, to Thee we raise, this our hymn of grateful praise.

For Thy Church that evermore Lifteth holy hands above,
  Off’ring up on every shore Her pure sacrifice of love.
Lord of all, to Thee we raise, this our hymn of grateful praise.

For Thyself, best Gift Divine!  To our race so freely given;
  For that great, grat love of Thine, peace on earth, and joy in heaven:
Lord of all, to Thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.

9.16            Great is Thy Faithfulness

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father! 
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not:
 As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.

Great is Thy faithfulness!  Great is Thy faithfulness! 
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided –
Great is thy Faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter, and spring-time and harvest,
Sun moon and stars in their courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness,
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide,
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand besides!

9.17            God Bless America

God bless America, land that I love,
  Stand beside her, and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above.

From the mountains to the prairies
  To the oceans white with foam,
God bless America, my home sweet home.
  God bless America, my home sweet home.




9.18            God of Our Fathers

God of our fathers, whose almighty hand
  Leads forth in beauty all the starry band
Of shining worlds in splendor through the skies,
Our grateful songs before Thy throne arise.

Thy love divine hath led us in the past; 
  In this free land by Thee our lot is cast;
Be Thou our Ruler, Guardian, Guide, and Stay;
  Thy word our law, Thy paths our chosen way.

From war’s alarms, from deadly pestilence,
  Be Thy strong arm our ever sure defense;
Thy true religion in our hearts increase,
  Thy bounteous goodness nourish us in peace.

Refresh Thy people on their toilsome way,
  Lead us from night to never ending day;
Fill all our lives with love and grace divine,
  And glory, laud, and praise be ever Thine.

9.19            Good News

Good news, chariot’s a-comin’  (3x)
And I don’t want it to leave me behind.

There’s a long white robe in heaven, I know  (3x)

There’s a better land in this world, I know …  (3x)

There’s a pair of wings in heaven, I know …  (3x)

There’s a starry crown in heaven, I know …  (3x)

There’s a golden harp in heaven, I know …  (3x)

9.20            He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands

He’s got the whole world --- in His hands,
   He’s got the whole wide world --- in His hands,
He’s got the whole world --- in His hands,
  He’s got the whole world in His hands.

He’s got the wind and the rain …

He’s got you and me, brother, …

He’s got you and me, sister, …

He’s got the little bitty baby, …

He’s got Everybody here …

9.21            How Great Thou Art

O Lord my God, where I in awesome wonder
  Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made,
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
  Thy power thru – out the universe displayed!

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee;
  How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee;
  How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

When thru the woods and forest glades I wander
  And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees,
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
  And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze,

And when I think that God, His Son not sparing,
  Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in –
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
  He bled and died to take away my sin!

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
  And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow in humble adoration
  And there proclaim, my God, how great Thou art!

9.22            If I Had a Hammer

If I had a hammer, I’d hammer in the morning
I’d hammer in the evening, all over this land
I’d hammer out danger, I’d hammer out a warning
I’d hammer out love between my brothers & sisters,
  all over this land.

If I had a bell, I’d ring it in the morning …

If I had a song, I’d sing it in the morning …

Well, I got a hammer & I got a bell
  And I got a song to sing all over this land

It’s the hammer of justice, it’s the bell of freedom,
  It’s a song about love between …

9.23            In Christ There Is No East or West

In Christ there is no East or West, In Him no South or North,
  But one great fellowship of love Thru out the whole wide earth.

In Him shall true hearts ev’ry where Their high communion find;
  His service is the golden cord Close binding all mankind.

Join hands then, brothers of the faith, What e’re your race may be;
  Who serves my Father as a son Is surely kin to me.

In Christ now meet both East and West, in Him meet South and North;
  All Christ-ly souls are one in Him Thru out the whole wide earth.

9.24            Jesus Loves Me!

Jesus loves me!  This I know, For the Bible tells me so;
  Little ones to Him be long, They are weak but He is strong.

Chorus:  Yes, Jesus loves me!, Yes Jesus loves me!
  Yes Jesus loves me!  The Bible tells me so.

Jesus loves me! He will stay close beside me all the way;
  Thou has bled and died for me, I well hence-forth live for Thee.

9.25            Joshua Fought the Battle of Jerico

Joshua fought the battle of Jerico, Jerico, Jerico;
  Joshua fought the battle of Jerico, and the walls came tumbling down.

1.  You may talk about your kings of Gideon,
       You may talk about your men of Saul,
     But there’s none like good old Joshua
       at the battle of Jerico.

2.  Now the Lord commanded Joshua:
       “I command you, and obey you must;
    You just march straight to those city walls
       And the walls will turn to dust.

3.  Straight up to the walls of Jerico
       He marched with spear in hand,
     “Go blow that ram’s horn,” Joshua cried,
        “For the battle is in my hand.”

4.  Then the ram sheep horns began to blow,
       And the trumpets began to sound,
     And Joshua commanded, “Now children, shout!”
       And the walls came tumbling down.

5.  Well I’ve heard God’s voice on the mountaintop
        In the desert & by the sea.
     Crying “Rise up against those city walls
       And you too shall be free.”

9.26            Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee

Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love,
  Hearts unfold like flow’rs before Thee, Hail Thee as the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness, Drive the dark of doubt away.
  Giver of immortal gladness, Fill us with the light of day!

All Thy works with joy surround Thee, Earth and heav’n reflect Thy rays,
  Stars and angels sing around Thee, Center of unbroken praise;
Field and forest, vale and mountain, Bloss’ming meadow, flashing sea.
  Chanting bird and flowing fountain Call us to rejoice in Thee.

Thou art giving and forgiving, Ever blessing, ever blest,
  Well spring of the joy of living, ocean depth of happy rest!
Thou the Father, Christ our Brother – All who live in love are Thine:
  Teach us how to love each other, Lift us to the joy divine.

Mortals, join the mighty chorus Which the morning stars began;
  Father love is reigning o’er us, Brother love binds man to man.
Ever singing, march we onward, Victors I the midst of strife;
  Joyful music lifts us sun-ward in the triumph song of life.

Song story:  This hymn was written by Henry van Dyke, a Presbyterian minister and ambassador to Holland and Luxembourg under President Wilson.  He wrote the words while visiting a college in Massachusetts and was inspired by the Berkshire mountains.  The music, of course, is the final portion of Beethoven’s last and most famous works, the Ninth Symphony.  Thus the tune was written a century earlier than the words.

9.27            Light One Candle

Light one candle for the Maccabee children
  With thanks that their light didn’t die.
Light one candle for the pain they endured
  When their right to exist was denied
Light one candle for the terrible sacrifice
  Justice & freedom demand, but
Light one candle for the wisdom to know
  When the peacemaker’s time is at hand.

Don’t let the light go out
  It’s lasted for so many years.
Don’t let the light go out
  Let it shine thru our love & our tears.

Light one candle for the strength that we need
  To never become our own foe.
Light one candle for those who are suff’ring
  The paid we learned so long ago
Light one candle for all we believe in
  That anger won’t tear us apart and
Light one candle to bring us together
  With peace as the song in our hear.

What is the mem’ry that’s valued so highly
  That we keep it alive in that flame?
What’s the commitment to those who have died
  When we cry out they’ve not died in vain?
Have we come this far always believing
That justice would somehow prevail?
This is the burden & this is the promise
And this is why we will not fail.

Written by: Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul & Mary.

9.28            Michael, Row the Boat Ashore

Michael, row the boat ashore, Alleluia,
  Michael, row the boat ashore, Alleluia.

Michael’s boat’s a music boat, Alleluia.
  Michael’s boat’s a music boat, Alleluia.

Sister, help to trim the sail, Alleluia.
  Sister, help to trim the sail, Alleluia.

Jordan’s River is chilly & cold, Alleluia.
  Chills the body, but not the soul, Alleluia.

Gabriel, blow the trumpet horn, Alleluia.
  Gabriel, blow the trumpet horn, Alleluia.

The river is deep and the river is wide, Alleluia,
  Milk and honey on the other side, Alleluia.

Brother, lend a helping hand, Alleluia,
  Brother, lend a helping hand, Alleluia.

9.29            Morning Has Broken

Note:  This works well as a spoke invocation.

Morning has broken like the first morning,
  Blackbird has spoken like the first bird.
Praise for the singing! Praise for the morning!
  Praise for them springing Fresh from the Word!

Sweet the rain’s new fall Sunlit from heaven,
  Like the first dew fall On the first grass.
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden,
  Sprung in completeness Where His feet pass.

Mine is the sunlight! Mine is the morning,
  Born of the one light Eden saw play!
Praise with elation, Praise ev’ry morning,
  God’s recreation of the new day!

9.30            Now Thank We All Our God

Now thank we all our God with hearts and hands and voices,
  Who wondrous things hath done, In whom His world rejoices.
Who from our mothers’ arms Hath blessed us on our way.
  With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.

O may this bounteous God thru all our life be near us,
  With ever joyful hearts And blessed peace to cheer us,
And keep us in His grace, And guide us when perplexed,
  And free us from all ills, In this world and the next.

All praise and thanks to God, the Father now be given.
  The Son and Him who reigns with Them in highest heaven.
The one eternal God Whom earth and heav’n adore –
  For thus it was, is now, And shall be evermore.

Song story:  This is a very old text, written in the 1600’s by a Lutheran minister, Martin Rinkart in Germany.  Europe at the time was suffering under the Thirty Years’ War and by plague and disease.  Rinkart was the only minister left alive in his town and was conducting fifty funeral services a day when he wrote this hymn of praise.  The English translation was made two centuries later by Catherine Winkworth, who also translated the hymn “Praise Ye the Lord, the Almighty.” 

9.31            O Worship the King

O worship the King, all glorious above,
and gratefully sing His pow’r and His Love;
Our Shield and Defender, the Ancient of Days,
  Pavilioned in splendor and girded with praise.

O tell of His might, o sing of His grace,
  Whose robe is the light, whose canopy space;
His chariots of wrath the deep thunder clouds form,
  And dark is His path on the wings of the storm.

Thy bountiful care what tongue can recite? 
  It breathes in the air, it shines in the light;
It streams from the hills, it descends to the plain,
  And sweetly distills in the dew and the rain.

Frail children of dust, and feeble as frail,
  In Thee do we trust, nor find Thee to fail;
Thy mercies how tender!  How firm to the end!
  Our Maker, Defender, Redeemer and Friend.

Song Story: This 1833 hymn was written by Sir Robert Grant, a Scottish member of parliament who was also involved with missionary work in India.  The tune is attributed to Michael Haydn, the brother of the famous composer, Joseph Haydn.

9.32            One More River to Cross

Old Noah built himself an ark,
  There’s one more river to cross,
And built it all of hickory bark,
  There’s one more river to cross.

One more river, And that’s the river Jordan;
  One more river – There’s one more river to cross.

The animals came two by two,
  There’s one more river to cross,
The elephant and kangaroo,
 There’s one more river to cross (repeat chorus).

The animals came three by three,
  there’s one more …
The baboon and the chimpanzee,
  there’s one more…  (repeat chorus).

The animals came four by four,
  there’s one more …
Old Noah got mad and hollered for more.
  there’s one more … (repeat chorus).

The animals came five by five,
  there’s one more …
The bees came swarming from the hive,
  there’s one more … (repeat chorus).

The animals came six by six,
  there’s one more …
The lion laughed at the monkey’s tricks.
  There’s one more … (repeat chorus).

When Noah found he had no sail,
  there’s one more …
He just ran up his old coat tail,
  there’s one more … (repeat chorus).

Before the voyage did begin,
  there’s one more …
Old Noah pulled the gangplank in,
  there’s one more … (repeat chorus).

They never know where they were at,
  there’s one more …
‘Til the old ark bumped on Ararat,
  there’s one more … (repeat chorus).

9.33            Onward, Christian Soldiers

Onward, Christian Soldiers, marching as to war
  With the cross of Jesus Going on before!
Christ, the royal Master, Leads against the foe;
  Brothers, lift your voices, Loud your anthems raise!

Onward, Christian solders, marching as to war,
  With the cross of Jesus Going on before!

At the sign of triumph, Satan’s host doth flee; 
  On, then, Christian solders, On to victory.
Hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise; 
  Brothers, lift your voices, Loud your anthems raise.
(repeat chorus)

Like a mighty army, Moves the Church of God;
  Brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod. 
We are not divided, all one body we.
  One in hope and doctrine, One in charity.
(repeat chorus)

Onward, then, ye people, Join our happy thong;
  Blend with ours your voices In the triumph song.
Glory, laud and honor until Christ the King,
  This thru countless ages Men and angles sing.
(repeat chorus)

Song story:  Although now this song is commonly associated with the Salvation Army, it was actually written in “great haste” by Sabine Baring-Gould as a Sunday school pageant marching tune in 1865 when school children were hiking between villages in Yorkshire, England.


9.34            O God, Our Help in Ages Past

O God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come,
  Our shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal home!

Under the shadow of Thy throne Still may we dwell secure;
  Sufficient is Thine arm alone, And our defense is sure.

Before the hills in order stood Or earth received her frame,
  From everlasting Thou art God, To endless years the same.

Time, like an ever rolling stream, Bears all its sons away;
  They fly, forgotten, as a dream Dies at the opening day.

O God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come.
  Be Thou our guide while life shall last, and out eternal home.

Song story:  This song is a paraphrase of Psalm 90, written by Issac Watts, a famous writer of some 600 hymns.  As a child, Issac complained about the music in church.  His father challenged him to write something of his own, which he did by composing a new hymn each week for the next two years.  Some of his other hymns are:  “Joy to the World” and “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.”

9.35            Praise Ye the Lord, the Almighty

Praise ye the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
  O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation.
All ye who hear, Now to His temple draw near;
  Join me in glad adoration.

Praise ye the Lord, who o’er all things so wondrously reigneth,
  Shelters thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen How thy desires e’er have been
  Granted in what He ordaineth?
Praise ye the Lord!  O let all that is in me adore Him!
  All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him.
Let the A-men sound from His people again:
  Gladly for aye we adore Him.

9.36            Scout Vespers

Tune:  Oh Christmas Tree

Softly falls the light of day,
  While our campfire fades away.

Silently each Scout should ask”
  “Have I done my daily task?

Have I kept my honor bright?
  Can I guiltless sleep tonight?

Have I done and have I dared
  Everything to be prepared?”

9.37            Swing Low, Sweet Chariot

Swing low, sweet chariot
  Comin’ for to carry me home

I looked over Jordan and what did I see
  Comin’ for to carry me home
A band of angels comin’ after me
  Comin’ for to carry me home.
(repeat chorus)

I’m sometimes up and sometimes down
  Comin’ …
But still I know I’m heavenly [freedom] bound
(repeat chorus)

If you get there before I do
  Comin’ …
Tell all my friends that I’m comin’ too.
  Comin’ …
(repeat chorus)

If I get there before you do
  Comin’ …
I’ll cut a hole and pull you thru
  Comin’ …
(repeat chorus)

9.38            Taps

Day is done, gone the sun,
  From the lake, from the hills, from the sky;
All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.

Fading light dims the sight,
  And a star gems the sky, gleaming bright’
From afar, drawing nigh, Falls the night.

9.39            The God of Abraham Praise

The God of Abraham praise, all praised be His name.
  Who was, and is, and is to be, For ever the same!
The one eternal God,  His wisdom and pow’r appears;
  The first, the last, beyond all thought His timeless years.

His spirit floweth free, high surging where it will:
  In prophet’s word he spoke of old, he speaketh still.
Behold!  The great I AM, and changeless He shall stand,
  Deep writ upon the human hear, on sea, or land.

He hath eternal life Implanted in the soul,
  His love shall be our strength and stay While ages roll.
Praise tot he living God!  All praised by his name,
Who was, and is, and is to be, For endless praise.

9.40            They’ll Know We are Christians By Our Love

We are one in the Spirit, We are one in the Lord,
  We are one in the spirit, We are one in the Lord,
And we pray that all unity may one day be restored.

And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love,
  Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

We will walk with each other, We will walk hand in hand,
  We will walk with each other, We will walk hand in hand.
And together we’ll spread the news that God is in our land.
(repeat chorus)

We will work with each other, We will work side by side,
  We will work with each other, We will work side by side.
And we’ll guard each man’s dignity and save each man’s pride.
(repeat chorus)

All praise to the Father, From whom all things come.
  And all praise to Christ Jesus, His only Son,
And all praise to the spirit, who makes us one.
(repeat chorus)

9.41            This is My Father’s World

This is my Father’s world, And to my list’ning ears
  All nature sings, and round me rings, the music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world!  I rest me in the thought
  Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas.  His hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father’s world – The birds their carols raise;
  The morning light, the lily white, Declare their Maker’s praise.
This is my Father’s world!  He shines in all that’s fair;
  In the rustling grass I hear Him pass – He speaks to me ev’ry where.

This is my Father’s world – O let me ne’er forget
  That tho the wrong seems oft so strong God is the Ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world!  The battle is not done;
  Jesus who died shall be satisfied, And earth and heav’n be one.

9.42            This Land Is Your Land

This land is your land, this land is my land.
  From California, to the New York Island.
From the redwood forest, to the Gulf Stream waters,
  This land was made for you and me.

As I went walking that ribbon of highway,
  I saw above me that endless skyway,
I saw below me that golden valley,
  This land was made for you and me.

I roamed and rambled, and I followed my footsteps,
  To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts,
All around me a voice was sounding,
  This land was made for you and me.

When the sun came shining, than I was strolling.
  And the wheat fields waving, and the dust clouds rolling,
A voice was chanting as the fog was lifting,
  This land was made for you and me.

9.43     When the Saints Go Marching In

O when the Saints go marching in,
  O when the Saints go marching in.
O Lord I want to be in that number
  When the Saints go marching in.

And when the revelation comes,
  And when the revelation comes,
Oh, Lord, I want to be in that number,
  When the revelation comes.

Continue, as above:

Oh, when the new world is revealed …

Oh, when they gather ‘round the throne …

And when they crown Him King of Kings …

And when the son no more will shine …

And when the moon has turned to blood …

And when the earth has turned to fire …

And on that hallelujah day …

Oh, when the Saints go marching in …

10.  Closing Prayers


10.1     Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from?
  My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip – He who watches over you will not slumber;
  indeed, He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you – the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
  the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm – He will watch over your life;
  the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.


11.  Benedictions


11.1            Scoutmasters’ Closing

And now, May the Great Master of all Scouts be with us until we meet again.

11.2            A Woodbadge Benediction

And now in your journey, may the trail rise up to meet your stride,
   May the sun shine softly on your backpack,
May the cool, clean waters carry your canoe safely to your next portage,
   May the wind bring warm blessings to your encampment,
May your Scouts find in you a fine example of the adult they hope to be.
   Peace be with you this day and forevermore.  Amen.

11.3            An Indian Benediction

O Great Spirit, Bless us from the north with the cool winds that calm our passions.  Bless us from the east with the winds that bring and renew life.  Bless us from the south with the warm wet winds that invite growth.  Bless us from the west with the winds that lead us through this life to the next.  Fill the sky so that we might sense your presence.  And bless us from mother earth from which we’ve come and to whom we shall return.

11.4            A Christian Benediction

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy spirit be with us all. Amen.

11.5            A Scouting Benediction

Dear God, thank you for the opportunity to be here in your garden.  Give us the strength to endure, the wisdom to enjoy each moment, and the courage to push ourselves further than we have ever before.  Bless our troop and our leaders as we journey through Boy Scouting.  Amen.

11.6            An Old Irish Blessing

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind always be at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rain fall soft upon your friends,
And until we meet again,
May God hold you I the palm of His hand.

11.7            A Responsive Benediction

Leader:  Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost:

Scouts:  As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be:  world without end.  Amen.

Leader:  Praise ye the Lord.

Scouts:  The Lord’s Name be praised.

11.8            Go Out With Joy 

Isaiah 55:12

You will go out with joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.

11.9            Jude

To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy – to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore!

11.10        Aaron’s Blessing

Numbers  6

The Lord bless you
  and keep you:
the Lord make his face shine upon you
  and be gracious to you.
The Lord turn his face toward you
  and give you peace.


12.     Graces


12.1    Philmont Grace


For Food, for raiment, for life, for opportunity, for friendship and fellowship we thank Thee, O Lord.


12.2    Camp Horseshoe Morning Grace

Gracious Giver of all good, Thee we thank for rest and food.  Grant that all we do or say, in Thy service be this day.

12.3    Camp Horseshoe Noon Grace

Father, for this noonday meal, we would speak the praise we feel.  Health and strength we have from Thee;  help us Lord to faithful be.

12.4    Camp Horseshoe Evening Grace

Tireless Guardian on our way, Thou has kept us well this day.  While we thank Thee, we request, care continued, pardon, rest.