"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!"
"It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life forevermore."
Brethren, I consider myself to be a "Traveling Man" in Masonry. In speculative Masonry, we as Master Masons may freely move from Lodge to Lodge (visiting) and, upon proper avouchment or by testing, be found worthy of attending a Lodge of Master Masons. My job takes me to many locations domestically and internationally, and I do take advantage of this opportunity and visit lodges when able.
The one thing that is a constant within all the lodges I have visited, regardless of location, is the concern the brethren have regarding low attendance at the stated meetings.
I started this message with the passage above, that we are all very familiar with. This message that I impart on you is a part of a larger masonic education piece I have put together, but I wanted to share some of it with you at this time. My rationale for this is because the passage above is a good reminder of why it is so essential for us to take time to attend Lodge whenever possible.
"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!" – We each face daily challenges in our lives, and our body and mind require an opportunity to refresh and renew. What a blessing to have the opportunity that enables us to meet with others in an environment free of politics, personal status, issues of the outside world, etc.! Coming together to meet as equals for the common good.
"It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;" – The "ointment or oil" was used for setting one apart from, and for blessing them in preparation of an upcoming task. Unity and fellowship are like anointing oil in someone's life. The physical and mental renewal and recharge that is experienced by attending Lodge and being with your brethren are all-encompassing for your body and mind, head to toe!
"As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion" – Just as the dew provides moisture and reinvigorates life as it descends to the lower elevations, so does brotherly love, descending from the higher to the lower, the passing of knowledge and strength, refreshing and enlivening in the course of the gathering, and the sweet diffusiveness of brotherly unity.
"for there the Lord commanded the blessing,"– The Great Architect with these words gives strength to support to perform that which is commanded. It is good, for the Great Architect calls it a blessing.
Finally, "even life forevermore." – Regeneration, which will never cease.
Brethren, ask yourself, "Why is it that you are not regularly attending stated meetings?" If you think that the Lodge doesn't miss you or that the Lodge is doing fine in your absence, remember the quote by Aristotle, "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts." When we connected, when we all come together in unity, imagine what we could do, rather than as smaller parts trying to accomplish the same.
If you need assistance in getting to Lodge, please let a Lodge member know, and we will find a way to get you here. If you require anything, let a Lodge member know. Brethren, look around in Lodge and look for those missing and reach out to them. Ask them if they need any assistance and arrange for a visit.
May the Great Architects blessings be with you and yours.
Brother Ernie is a husband and father of three sons. A third-generation miner, he works full time in the mining industry, specifically mining health and safety, and has volunteered much of his free time as a firefighter, E.M.T., and Search and Rescue Commander. He serves on the Board of Directors for "Wings on Words," a Child Language Center located in Tucson, Arizona, a not-for-profit community outreach program for children with speech/language disorders, in partnership with the Valley of Tucson Scottish Rite and the University of Arizona. In his off time, he enjoys astrophotography, home remodeling, and fishing. He also enjoys being a "Traveler," visiting other masonic lodges and attending masonic education conferences.