“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing….And now abideth, faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”
The first thing we teach our brothers in Fellowcraft degree is to have charity. The lesson is from 1st Corinthians, Verse 13. Most translations of the verse substitute “love” for “charity”; the original Greek uses “agape”. Agape is "love: the highest form of love, charity; the love of God for man and of man for God." Agape is different than "philēo" , or brotherly love; agápē embraces a universal, unconditional love that transcends phileo and serves regardless of circumstances.
The practice of charity should be more than reaching into your pocket for a few dollars to put in the plate. I know I struggle with figuring out how to best serve others. As the verse points out it doesn’t matter how much money, possessions, or smarts you may have, if you are not seeking ways to serve others and bring some light to their existence, you really have nothing.
We should be seeking out ways to serve others, whether individually or as a lodge. We had a proposal presented at the April communication to participate in St. Andrews Supper Table. This is an opportunity for us to practice outside the lodge those great moral duties which are inculcated in it. Please give this idea consideration.
On another note, Bro. Brett and I attended an information session on a Rhode Island PBS project called “Our Town”. PBS will be doing a show on Westerly, and it seems like a great venue to showcase how Franklin Lodge is a part of the fabric of Westerly. Brett and I are open to any ideas you have on what parts of the lodge or our history we could highlight. Our next meeting with PBS is May 18th.
Bro. Eric B. Ross
Worshipful Master, Franklin #20