written by Scott DuBois, Christ in the Smokies committee member, volunteer and alumnus
“And behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.” Matthew 3:17
Matthew recalls when Jesus was first affirmed by Father God.
John the Baptist pulls Jesus from the River Jordan. Powerfully, suddenly, a voice from Heaven affirms Jesus. God speaks.
This public affirmation occurs before Jesus’ public ministry and countless miracles. Father God affirms Jesus well before Jesus went about the business of changing water into wine, raising Lazarus from the dead, feeding the 5,000, and walking on water.
Father God affirms the Son because He loves Him for who He is, not what He’s done.
Think about it: the King of Kings wants His Son to know He loves Him and is “well-pleased” with Him before He launches. God the Father did not withhold His Son’s blessing. God did not wait to see Jesus’ body of work or list of accomplishments before affirming Him. The King of Kings sent Jesus forward with His unconditional love and blessing.
These words remind us of an important truth: fathers are life-givers to sons regardless of age. We are all sons with earthly fathers—present or past, close or distant. We are all sons—either affirmed and loved, or still longing.
Personally, these words explain why my son and I attended Christ in the Rockies in 2013, immediately following his college graduation. As my son prepared to leave home for good into the new world of “adulting,” his mother and I never wanted him to question our love and belief in him. We wanted a moment of demarcation—a “terra firma” from which to anchor as he plunged forward. We wanted him to know he was loved because of who he is, not what he does.
Unconditionally, he is the adored son of his earthly father. More importantly, like his earthly father, he is an adored of son of God. We are sons, together.
Encouragement to dads and moms with sons: Our community is rife with loss, separation and cancellation due to COVID-19. High school graduation, college graduation, and some really meaningful moments of passage were taken from so many families and young men. The desire of Christ in the Smokies, now and since its inception, is to provide a time and place where some of what was lost can be restored.
Christ in the Smokies is a capstone experience for fathers and sons built around adventure, common experience and community. Fathers and sons share moments on the trail and along the river that are life-giving and profound. There are large group, small group and one-on-one environments where fathers and sons are equipped to move forward with intentionality in their relationship. Our desire is to walk with fathers as they propel their sons forward, so future generations can know without a shadow of a doubt they are loved and affirmed sons. They are, regardless of merit, sons in whom their fathers are well-pleased. Christ in the Smokies is a place where fathers and sons discover they are sons, together—sharing the same Heavenly Father.
Registration is open now for the 2020 Passage to Manhood Camp. Find out more information and register here.