It has been our tradition on the Voice of Scouting to post inspiring Scout messages based on the Scout Law for twelve days leading up to Christmas Day. The 9th day of the 12 days of a Scout Christmas reminds us that a Scout is thrifty.
A Scout is thrifty. A Scout works to pay his way and to help others. He saves for unforeseen needs. He protects and conserves natural resources. He carefully uses time and property. Being thrifty is also an important part of being prepared. This Christmas, let us reflect on the story of the 10 virgins, found in Mattew 25:
It was a wedding custom among the Jews for the groom to come at night to the bride’s house, where her bridesmaids attended her. The bride and her maids would wait up all night for the groom to arrive. When the groom’s approach was announced, these maidens went out with oil lamps to light his way into the house for the celebration.
One wedding night, a bride and her ten maids were waiting. Five of the maids were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
At midnight the cry rang out: “Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!”
All the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, “Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.”
“No, they replied, “there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.”
But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
Later the others also came. “Lord, Lord,” they said, “open the door for us!”
I this story, the wise virgins were thrifty and could not share their oil with the foolish virgins because “the oil of spiritual preparedness cannot be shared.” Part of being thrifty is preparing in advance. You do not know the day or hour when your preparations will be needed. Whether spiritual or physical, being irresponsible with your resources can leave you unprepared when you need it most.
Your Scouts may not be waiting with oil lamps, however they can still practice being thrifty with their possesions. This Christmas especially, they can learn how to be thrifty. Save some money and make homemade gifts or perform acts of service.
For the next twelve days, visit the Voice of Scouting to find inspiring Christmas messages based on the twelve points of the Scout Law: A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.