I was talking with a most excellent companion the other day, asking about proficiency cards for the degrees. You see, I am learning the degrees to make myself more useful to brothers across the country. My job demands mobility, and this means I might not have a chance to sit in the east for quite some time.Proficiency will, I hope, make me more useful in any lodge/chapter/council I have the joy of joining wherever I am. Evidently, my grand Commandery body does not have proficiency for individuals! I was a little shocked, a little dismayed. All this effort to learn parts, be useful, and what do I get out of it? But that’s typical of membership, right?
What do I get out of Commandery? I mean outside of fellowship, a sword, incredible lessons? What can this society give to me that others might not? How can I extract from this society, one of the more expensive masonic societies, the greatest value for my cost? Many commanderies use the chapeau in regular meetings, instead of the more cost effective cap and mantle, this makes commandery and intimidatingly pricey society for younger members to consider joining!
I learned that there are drill teams, and that I can wear my Maltese cross to church on my sport coat. I’ve learned what that cross stands for: the 8 Beatitudes (future blog topic?)
I learned that if I can master my part, and the part above me in Commandery, we can perform some spectacular events for the public. But this is a team effort, more so than any other society I have been part of. We can utilize our society to proudly show Christ to the public, our friends and family, and show the strength that comes from Christians of all denominations uniting under a single banner to stand firm in those universal attributes of Christ: Faith, Hope, and Charity. We can raise money, or awareness for education in our local communities, and when people ask we will tell them ” Christ saved my eternal life, that I might save somebody’s temporal life.”. Functions like drills, long form openings (which would be a lot less ‘long’ if members know there parts before they get to the meeting), these are flourishes which symbolize our devotion to Christianity, Templary, and the Church. It may be seen as a sort of lay ecumenical society, devoted to the unity of all Trinitarian Christians for the furtherance of not one single denomination, or sect, but Christs ministry, His kingdom of Peace, His kingdom of Charity, His kingdom of Love. Using our sword, the Holy Scriptures, to win wars wage against us, others will see our victories, and see our abundance flowing from us in to our schools, our libraries, our homeless shelters, our food banks, our women’s shelters (who would argue that abused women of society do not qualify as widows, and their children as orphans?), our churches, our neighbors.
Team effort, the epitome of Christian knighthood!
Hold fast to faith, uplift all others in hope, be charitable in grace.