By Most Illustrious Companion John D. Barnes
Past Most Illustrious Grand Master and Grand Treasurer, Grand Council of New Jersey
Happy Holidays (Public Domain)
Keep your eyes open to your mercies. The man who forgets to be thankful has fallen asleep in life. – Robert Louis Stevenson
In the Select Degree, Ahishar falls asleep at his post and receives no mercy for his failure to do his duty. At this festive time of year, do not fall asleep to your duty to the Ever-Living and True God. While we have just celebrated the holiday called Thanksgiving, giving thanks is a year-round activity.
We are surrounded by the Blessings of Deity, as we were reminded in the Fellowcraft Degree. Remember to be thankful for what you have received, and to share it with those less fortunate than you. Contribute to your local food bank, or collect foodstuff at your Council for a local food bank. Support the Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots campaign. Do something to show that you care, even if you are the only one who sees it.
While the Star in the East and the lights of the Menorah are meant to shine before the world, as a testament of your belief in and thanks to the Grand Architect of the Universe, the Omniscient Judge will know of your acts of charity to your fellow man. Even those done in the dark of night, when prying eyes are closed in sleep.
The holidays of Christmas and Chanukah both occur this December, and happen at the same time this year. To those Companions who observe these holidays, celebrate them wholeheartedly! To those Companions who observe other holy traditions, celebrate those traditions wholeheartedly also.