GREETINGS FROM THE SOUTH
My brothers, as we approach the new year having celebrated the holidays with family, friends and fellow Brothers, we should be reminded of three important teachings which are too easily forgotten:
First, the wise and noble words set forth in the opening of Psalm 133, specifically, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for Brethren to dwell together in unity.” What a joy it is to celebrate and rejoice together with Brothers of Jephtha Lodge in harmony. Isn’t it? Brotherhood unites us and should always be on our minds as we approach and reflect on the new year with excitement and refined purpose. As Masons, we are taught to strive for kinship, obtaining peace and prosperity within the Lodge. For some, it may have been distinguished by what is past, but fear not, harmony will be back again in the present and into the future. Let us continuously remember this about friendship and realign our goals so it is the main destination or central ingredient of our success going into 2023 and beyond.
Second, the compasses are always leading the way and teaching us to look beyond our inflamed desires and focus on what is most important within the bounds of all mankind. This teaching should not be overlooked as there may come a time when we have been tested, or perhaps our desires and passions lead us and cause an event to occur which was the opposite of our intentions. Later we may realize what is really most important. Let us learn to circumscribe our pulling desires so we can enjoy the new year with a new start and work together with all mankind to spread Brotherly Love and compassion that is the heart of Freemasonry. For without our Brothers beside me, we are not a Lodge, but a freestanding fellow Mason when we should be Masons jointly. We are equals set forth to help all Brothers. We should always take care to listen before responding, or not act in the heat of our passions at any given moment. What is said by one speaking brother may harm another listening brother, even if that speaking brother had the best of intentions but may have chosen the wrong words or time to do so. Let us circumscribe our desires and refocus on what is the most important of all – Harmony and Unity that strengthen our Brotherhood.
Third, harmony. For after all, there is no truer phrase than “harmony is the support of all institutions especially this of ours.” I did borrow this from the Senior Warden (sorry Brother Bill), but no truer words have been spoken. Let us always remember, we must have peace within the Lodge to succeed and be successful. In our joint undertakings, Lodge like-mindedness is required for Jephtha to grow and prosper. To be truly in this spirit, we must all think before we act. We must all safely guide our fellow brothers by providing strong, positive examples and not examples of what should be avoided when our passions are not kept in the due bounds of all mankind. Any team, organization, corporation, union, group, fraternity or brotherhood – you name it – must have a meeting of the minds for it to adapt, to continue and to grow. Yet we should also be blessed with our own inner harmony or peace that we all seek. Sometimes, however, we can lose sight of it when we forget the teachings of the compasses. As we approach the new year, let us humbly come together and remember it is the joy of inner peace and that of the lodge that fosters brotherhood and unity, and that harmony and togetherness allow us all to dwell together while the Lodge continues onward toward thousands of more communications.
Let this be a new year with new beginnings, new thoughts, new considerations, new leadership and let harmony reign supreme again. As the new year progresses, let us continuously remember to subdue our discordant passions and always be reminded to keep those passions in the due bounds with all mankind. Let us celebrate Harmony with Unity as our ultimate goal.
I wish all Brothers and their families a happy and healthy new year. In the spirit of the station in the south, let us all enjoy nourishment, sustenance, and refreshment together in happiness.
Fraternally yours from the south,
Br John A Lentinello, Junior Warden