December 1, 2003
In the last three Education sessions, I’ve introduced the idea of Masonic Frameworks as a way of understanding what we do, and why. One is the Framework of Philosophy, which is the approach to our personal development in Masonry. One is the Framework of Piety, which is giving justice to the GAOTU and to each other. And one is the Framework of Fellowship which teaches us that to meet our needs we must learn to meet others’ needs - to receive, we must give.
Now, our Worshipful Master made a point of asking me to talk for ten minutes tonight, but I think we've pretty much covered it. I mean, after looking out for ourselves, the Divine, and each other, what more is there to learn, or say?
Well, there is one small question left, “Why - are - we - here?” Why, my Brothers, are we here and not at home or out doing something else? Why are we unlike the other 200 lodge Brothers who are not here tonight? Have they finished their personal development? Have they learned all there is to know about their Masonic relationship with the GAOTU? Have they fulfilled their need for Fellowship? Are they tired of driving down to the Lodge or did they just sort of run out of energy?
What is it about us tonight, here in this building we call the Lodge, that makes us different from those who are not? Could it be a matter of energy? Is it that we, who are here, have the energy to search for answers? And, if so, where do we get this energy, and how do we hang on to it? So many questions…
First, let’s clarify the meaning of the word, “Lodge”. We frequently address it as though it were a physical thing, a thing of rooms and walls and chairs. It is not a physical thing. Lodge is not a building. Lodge is not a scheduled period of time on a calendar. Lodge is not the agenda of a Stated Meeting or even Degree work. Lodge is, by definition, a certain number of Brothers, duly assembled with the holy writings, square, and compasses. We ARE the Lodge. Lodge is you.
Beyond the Frameworks of Philosophy, Piety, and Fellowship, there is a fourth Framework, one right under our noses (so to speak) but not obvious in the ritual, lectures, or literature. We'll call it the Framework of Energy.
Our work in this Lodge, tonight, is energized by the combination of our individuality, our personalities and philosophies, our enthusiasm, our strengths and weaknesses, our wants and needs, … our hopes. It is the Divine life spark in each of us that powers this Lodge, and by coming together, makes this energy unique in all of history. And throughout Masonry, each Lodge has a different current, as different as the Brothers who charge it up. The genius of Masonry is in this Framework of Energy, and how it shifts and flows with each new combination of Brothers. It is why each Lodge of Brothers is different, and why Masonry is universally the same. What we do with this energy is the key to our Masonic life and work.
My Brothers, this Lodge, tonight, is opportunity. Its energy is right here, Right NOW!, and gone tomorrow. Powered by the Divine spark in each of us, this energy is of us, and by us, and for us. We are bound together within it to give to it what we can, and, we are blessed together within it to take from it what we need. It is by this Framework that our Masonic work gets done. Without it, we become the missing Brothers, tired, stalled out along the way, and literally out of energy. But we, by being here tonight, have created our Framework of Energy, our Lodge, and have given ourselves opportunity that is one of the secret mysteries of Masonry. The Divine spark in each of us, brought together in Lodge, merged and blended and energized, is the source that charges and recharges our Masonic batteries.
And it keeps going, and going, and going….
Br. Stephen C. Harrington