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Ammon into mine hands, then it shall be that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me when I return in peace shall surely be the Lord's, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering. Song, "Be Ye Strong in the Lord," by choir, or soloist.

By thy right hand He'll hold thee while battling for the right, Trusting Him, thou shalt forevermore prevail. My father, thou hast opened thy mouth unto the Lord; do unto me according to that which hath proceeded out of thy mouth, forasmuch as the Lord hath taken vengeance for thee of thine enemies, even of the children of Ammon.

Let this thing be done for me: Adah departs; Jephthah stands with bowed head. When the time had expired, Adah was prepared to fulfill her father's vow. With an almost broken heart, he awaited her at the altar. She greeted him affectionately and bade him farewell. With face unveiled, and looking upward, so that her father's arm might not be unnerved by her gaze, she received the fatal blow, and thus bravely gave her life to preserve her father's honor. Jephthah's vow was very unwise and foolish.

It was a bargain with God. The sacrifice God required is "a humble and contrite heart," and as Samuel admonished Saul, "To obey is better than to sacrifice. It was considered a dishonor to break such a vow.

The Israelites did not commit human sacrifice as the idolatrous nations among whom they lived. Jephthah, no doubt, had in mind that he would meet some animal, used in sacrificing - a sheep, or goat, or cow. The ancient sages very wisely taught that it is better not to vow than to vow unwisely. So, we should learn from the history of Jephthah's daughter not to promise anything we can not keep.

Also, that an obligation taken in the name of God is especially sacred. Sisters and brothers, let us ever be true to the solemn obligation taken at the altar, and to all other obligations. Which will the way illume with light, And help each weary heart The lessons true to read aright, Which our Star's rays impart.

Curtain is drawn aside; Adah faces audience; she has a blue veil over her head. She uses veil in making sign, drapes the sword which is on stand by her side, and holds position.

Curtain is slowly drawn. While she holds position with sword, the choir sings. The curtain is not drawn until choir finishes singing. This is the conclusion of the program, and the Worthy Matron can say, "This concludes the program," and close the chapter in usual form, if the chapter had not been closed before the program.

I need Thy presence every passing day; Earth's joys grow dim, its glories pass away; Change and decay in all around I see. O Thou, who changest not, abide with me! Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes; Shine thro' the gloom and point me to the skies; Heaven's morning breaks, and earth's vain shadows flee; In life, in death, 0 Lord, abide with me! The scene of this beautiful love story was laid in Bethlehem of Judea, a town famed in song and story, and also in Moab, a country beyond the river Jordan, a country whose inhabitants were worshipers of idols.

During the famine Elimelech and his wife Naomi and their two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, emigrated from Bethlehem to Moab, and there they remained until the sons had taken unto themselves as wives two beautiful Moabitish girls named Ruth and Orpha. Some ten years later Elimelech and both sons died, leaving three lamenting widows. The two young widows seem to have had plenty of material wealth, but Naomi was left in destitute circumstances.

Her heart was broken over her loss, and she felt that even God had deserted her in her grief. But Naomi entreated them to remain in Moab where their material wants would be amply taken care of. It was a rough journey, inadequate travel facilities, heat, cold, privations on every hand, and finally a life of poverty even if they survived the trials of the trip.

So Naomi again appealed in her strongest manner, and Orpha, sensing the true conditions, turned back after affectionately kissing her mother in farewell. One of the most appealing. Where thou diest, there will I die, And there will I be buried; Jehovah do so to me, and more also, If ought but death part thee and me.

If she turned back it meant to resume her place in the community. It meant that she would probably live at ease, but it also meant that she must surrender her God as well, and that would indeed be a calamity, as she had learned to love Naomi's God, who was also the God of her departed husband. But with a firm resolve, and in no uncertain language, she refused to leave Naomi, and they finished the journey together, and the tragedy of parting was never again suggested by either of them.

Moab and its idols were left behind, and they at last crossed the Jordan and reached Bethlehem, tired and footsore and weary.

The younger woman also had suffered, for. From this point Ruth occupied the central figure in the story. It was necessary for Ruth to seek employment to maintain an existence. She, therefore, suggested to Naomi that she become a gleaner after the reapers, gathering up the leavings. It was a lowly task, in fact the only one left open to the widow, the orphan and the very poor. It was a law among the Jews that the poor had a right to glean in anyone's field.

Ruth was too proud to beg, but not too proud to earn a livelihood by honest work. And so her work began. She started to work in the fields of Boaz, a man of great wealth and influence.

When he came to inspect the work in his fields, he noted a stranger and made inquiries concerning her history. He learned her story. And then he approached her and spoke kindly to her. She was naturally surprised as her companions had made many unkind remarks to her during the morning, and she was scarcely prepared to understand any kind remarks on the part of the owner. He was often spoken of as "Boaz, the Kind. And so she gleaned in the fields until the end of the harvest, and she and Naomi had plenty to eat and to spare.

In due course of time Ruth became the wife of Boaz, and the mother of a son called Obed, and thereby established a line of descendants down to Jesus.

Thus it may be seen that, though Ruth was of another race and nation, yet for her constancy and trust in Jehovah she was exalted to the high station she occupied as the ancestress of King David and to "Great David's Greater Son - the Messiah. No work that is worthy of accomplishment is too small for us to perform. No honest work is menial, and the example set by Ruth of garnering even the smallest grains is one well worthy of emulation. From Moab's hill the stranger comes,.

By sorrow tried, widowed by death;. She comes to Judah's goodly houses,. Led by the trusting hand of faith. She leaves her childhood's home, and all That brothers, friends and parents gave; The flowery fields, the lordly hall, The green sod o'er her husband's grave.

She leaves the gods her people own - Soulless and weak, they're hers no more; Jehovah, He is God alone, And Him her spirit will adore. At Bethlehem's gates the stranger stands, All friendless, poor, and wanting rest; She waits the cheer of loving hands, And kindred hearts that God hath. Entreat me not, dear friend, to go Or leave thy cherished side; The Lord hath called me here, I know, And here I will abide.

The haunts of girlhood, once so dear, My soul doth prize no more; I yearn, my Love, far off to hear, And find the better shore. I leave the mansions of the dead - Farewell to grassy mound; The flowery plains we soon will tread, Where all the lost again are found. I'll go with thee, do not deny; I'll make with thee my home; Where'er thou diest I will die, And there shall be my tomb. Introduction is to be given by the Worthy Matron.

The history of the second heroine of our Order, Ruth, is gleaned from the Book of Ruth. It is a most beautiful Bible romance, a pastoral love story. In the days when the judges judged, there was a famine in Bethlehem, a city of Judah. Elimelech, with his wife Naomi, and their two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, journeyed to Moab, and become prosperous. The sons took to themselves wives of the women of Moab, Orpah and Ruth.

After Naomi's husband and her two sons died, she decided to return to her home, Bethlehem in Judah. Curtain is drawn aside, showing Naomi conversing with Orpah and Ruth, persuading them to return to Moab. Go, return each of you to her mother's house; the Lord deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me.

The Lord grant you that ye may find rest, each of you, in the house of her husband. She kisses them, but they refuse to leave her, and say in a sorrowful tone: Nay, but we will return with thee unto thy people. Turn back, my daughters; why will ye go with me? Turn back, my daughters, go your way.

It grieveth me much for your sakes, for the hand of the Lord is gone forth against me. Ruth, very earnestly, tenderly and lovingly, pleads with Naomi. Entreat me not to leave thee, and to return from following after thee; for whither thou goest I will go, and where thou lodgest I will lodge; thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God; where thou diest will I die, and there will I be buried; the Lord do so to me, and more also, if aught but death part thee and me.

They leave, with their arms about each other. Hope on, hope on, O troubled heart;. If doubts and fears o'ertake thee,. Remember this, the Lord hath said,. He never will forsake thee;. Then murmur not, still bear thy lot,. Nor yield to care or sorrow;.

Be sure the clouds that frown today. Will break in smiles tomorrow. Hope on, hope on, though dark and deep The shadows gather o'er thee; Be not dismayed; thy Saviour holds The Lamp of Life before thee; And if He will that thou today Shouldst tread the vale of sorrow, Be not afraid, but trust and wait; The sun will shine tomorrow. Hope on, hope on, go bravely forth Through trial and temptation, Directed by the word of truth, So full of consolation; There is a calm for ev'ry storm, A joy for ev'ry sorrow, A night from which the soul shall wake To hail an endless sorrow.

Curtain is drawn; Naomi's women friends meet her, they are surprised at her changed appearance; she speaks to them in a sorrowful tone. Two or three sisters should impersonate Naomi's friends.

They look at her with an astonished expression, and one of them speaks: Call me not Naomi pleasant , call me Marah bitter ; for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.

I went out full, and the Lord hath brought me back home empty; why call ye me Naomi, seeing the Lord hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me? Naomi walks away a few steps with Ruth; Naomi's friends look after her sorrowfully. Ruth speaks to Naomi. Let me now go to the field, and glean among the ears of barley, after him in whose sight I shall find favor. Why stand with rusted blade,.

Until the night draws round thee, And day begins to fade? Why stand ye idle, waiting For reapers more to come? The golden morn is passing, Why sit ye idle, dumb? Thrust in your sharpened sickle, And gather in the grain; The night is fast approaching And soon will come again; The Master calls for reapers, And shall He call in vain? Shall sheaves lie there ungathered, And waste upon the plain?

Mount up the heights of wisdom, And crush each error low; Keep back no words of knowledge That human hearts should know. Be faithful to thy mission, In service of thy Lord, And then a golden chaplet Shall be thy just reward.

Curtain is drawn aside. Two or three brothers take the part of the reapers; one of them represents the chief or the servant set over the reapers. A brother represents Boaz. The reapers are seen; Boaz enters and greets them; they answer his greeting and he converses with the chief of the reapers. The reapers should how to Boaz; he returns their greeting. The Lord be with you. The Lord bless thee. BOAZ speaks to servant over reapers: Whose damsel is this?

It is a Moabitish damsel that came back with Naomi out of the field of Moab; and she said: BOAZ speaks to Ruth: She should be a little way from the other gleaners: Nearest thou not, my daughter? Go not to glean in another field, neither pass from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens.

Let thine eyes he on the field that they do reap, and go. RUTH makes a low bow and speaks to Boaz: Why have I found favor in thy sight, that thou shouldest take cognizance of me, seeing I am a foreigner? The Lord recompense thy work, and be thy reward complete from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to take refuge. Let me find favor in thy sight, my lord; for that thou hast spoken to the heart of thy handmaid, though I be not as one of thy handmaidens.

BOAz turns to his reapers and says to the servant set over the reapers: Let her glean even among the sheaves, and put her not to shame. And let her glean, and rebuke her not. Solos with chorus; soloists to sing question and answer. One sister sings the part of. The chorus should be composed of mixed voices, sisters and brothers; or the chorus could be of only male voices, not less than four. The musical part of this program should be rehearsed as well as the speaking part.

Plodding along thy lonely way, Tell me, where hast thou glean'd today? Gather your handfuls while you may; All day long in the field abide, Gleaning close by the reapers' side. Hungry and thirsty, tell me, pray, Where, oh where, hast thou gleaned today?

Singing along the homeward way, Glad one, where hast thou glean'd today? Ruth is holding sack of grain; she and Naomi converse. Where hast thou gleaned today? Blessed be he that did take knowledge of thee. The man's name with whom I wrought today is Boaz. Blessed be he of the Lord, who hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead. The man is nigh of kin unto us, one of our near kinsmen.

Yea, he said unto men: Thou shalt keep fast by my young men, until they have ended all my harvest. It is good, my daughter, that thou go out with his maidens, and that thou be not met in any other field.

When Ruth made it known to Boaz that he was a near kinsman to her, he rejoiced and extended to her still greater consideration and kindness. And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou sayest; for all the men in the gate of my people do know that thou art a virtuous woman. Boaz stands out as a real Bible gentleman. According to the teachings of the Bible Mosaic laws , he showed kindness and consideration to the stranger.

Ruth was worthy of Boaz's love and kindness. The love of Ruth and Boaz is of. To be given by a Member Oh, wondrous story of immortal spell! From a forgotten age, so far and old That even its traditions now we hold But doubtfully, comes down this tale so well Beloved, which we today rehearse and tell As if Naomi's meadows had been sold But yesterday, and in the kinsman's fold Still shining lay the golden grains which fell From sheaves all careless bound, that Ruth might glean.

Oh, wondrous spell of love and loyalty! No record ever said that Ruth was fair; And yet all thoughts have pictured her in mien So beauteous, art itself might well despair Seeking to paint her tender constancy! At the conclusion of the reading of this poem, the curtain is drawn aside and Ruth faces audience, holding in her hands the "sheaf. But if by a still, small voice He calls to paths that I do not know, I'll answer, dear Lord, with my hand in Thine, I'll go where you want me to go.

There's surely somewhere a lowly place, In earth's harvest fields so wide - Where I may labor thro' life's short day For Jesus the crucified. So trusting my all to Thy tender care, And knowing Thou lovest me, I'll do Thy will with a heart sincere, I'll be what you want me to be. The beautiful duet, "Ruth and Naomi" would he especially appropriate at this time. CI' Obedience is a part of education, and if boys and girls do not learn the habit of obedience they are not educated, even though they may read many languages and be experts in science and mathematics.

Boys and girls who do not learn at home the virtue of obedience are unfortunate. As a prelude to this story we have a gorgeous scene in which the King of Persia Ahasuerus had held a feast for his nobles that lasted for one hundred and eighty days, and this was followed by a feast of seven days to which all the people of the kingdom were invited. Queen Vashti had a similar banquet at the royal palace for the women of the realm.

Near the end of the feast the king commanded the queen to come before the assembled men, and display her charms. The king, drunk from his long feasting, flew into a terrible rage, and called his counselors together and demanded that the queen be deposed, as an example to wives who refused to obey their husbands. Now, it was a law of the Medes and Persians that a law once pronounced could not be recalled even by the king himself. It was said that the king really loved Vashti, and lamented the decree.

But it was just another instance - as Shakespeare says, "Oh, that men should put an enemy into their mouths to steal away their brains. Ahasuerus was advised to assemble all the beautiful maidens at the palace and make a choice. As we know, Esther, a young, beautiful Jewess, was the one chosen, and it was said that the king really fell madly in love with her, and the loss of his beautiful Vashti was compensated by the faithfulness and.

Now Esther is one of the outstanding heroines of the Bible, and of all history. She was strong, brave, capable, patriotic and honorable, and had all the qualities that go to make up not only a real woman but also a queen. In all the luxury of her new life, the temptations that naturally came to a woman in her position, she was not spoiled by being a queen.

She was a woman of the highest integrity and principles; a shining example of female virtue, and the king highly valued her as a queen and counselor. But there was another character that must be mentioned here and that is Mordecai, the cousin of the queen, who had taken the place of a father when Esther's parents had both died.

It is a long story of political intrigue, but the outcome of it all was the decree issued by the king that on a certain day all the Jews in the kingdom should be put to death.

Esther was a Jewess, although her lineage had been carefully concealed from the king and his court. When Mordecai learned of the decree, he rent his clothes, and covered his body with sackcloth and ashes as was the mourning custom. And then Mordecai summoned Esther and told her of the fatal edict, and that she would be included in those designated for slaughter. The gentlest natures are often the sternest when duty requires it, and the man who had filled a father's place to her found it necessary to utter a statement that seems somewhat harsh when he says in words that struck like a whip: For if thou altogether boldest thy place at this time, then shall there deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed.

She was young, she was beautiful, she loved life, she loved the king and she loved her people, and she realized that the edict could not be escaped. And so at the request of Mordecai she resolved to make a personal appeal to the king.

And then her resourcefulness and keenness of mind came to her rescue. Very simple and touching were her preparations. Remembering that "he that humbleth himself shall be exalted," she first requested Mordecai and all the Jews in the city to fast for her three days and nights, that they neither eat nor drink, and declared that she and her maidens would do likewise, and then she closed her message with these memorable words: But Esther was a very wise woman.

Now Esther was a true woman, and she reasoned that if one banquet was good for the king, another would put him in a still better frame of mind, and so she ordered a second banquet, and promised that she would then make known her request.

The hour for the second banquet had arrived, and Esther appeared in all her beauty and royal apparel. The king again said to her: It was the psychological moment for Esther, and she struck while the iron was hot. With great tact she began pleading for her own life. The Jews then set the annual feast of Purim in memory of the triumph and in honor of the Queen, whose skill in statecraft had delivered them. The story of Esther leaves a deep impression on us of the courage and tact that Esther displayed when confronted with the peril of losing not only her own life but the lives of the entire Jewish race, and the consummate skill with which she handled the difficult situation.

May the pure life of Esther and her devotion to her own people be an inspiration to us all. Perhaps you, too, were born for a time like this. Must we perish, 0 my nation, With the light of ages crowned! Surely there is yet salvation With our great Deliverer found; Cry aloud, then, Zion's Daughter, Rend with sorrowing groans the sky; Blunt with prayer the sword of slaughter - Haste, my people, ere we die!

Thou, who shone our nation's glory, Mark the time of deep distress; Hear, with pitying ear, our story, See our anguish, Lord, and bless. But if thus our sins to chasten Thou refuse thy children's cry, All submissive, I will hasten With my people, Lord, to die.

Introduction by the Worthy Matron. Esther was a Jewish maiden, who lived in Persia. The Jews were captives within that country. They paid their yearly tribute, enjoyed religious freedom, could worship God according to the dictates of their conscience and observe the laws and statutes of Moses, as heretofore. Ahasuerus lived in great splendor and often gave great feasts to which he invited the princes and officials of his kingdom, from the highest to the lowest.

Such a feast or banquet is recorded in the Scriptures, in the Book of Esther. One of these feasts was held in the court of his magnificent palace garden at the capital city, Shushan. After seven days of feasting and drinking, Ahasuerus, who gloried in these great banquets and all his wonderful possessions, commanded his chamberlains to bring his wife, Queen Vashti, dressed in royal apparel, that he might show off her beauty.

It is not the custom in eastern countries, and much less at that time, for a woman to appear at banquets with men. After seven days of feasting and drinking this banquet may have become no more than a drunken revel.

Queen Vashti refused to obey the king's summons. The reason for refusing to attend is not given. His advisors, the high court officials, advised him to put her aside as a punishment for her refusal to obey the king; also to make of her an example for all the wives of the kingdom, from the highest to the lowest, that none would dare disobey their husbands, their lords and masters.

This advice was pleasing to the king, and he divorced Vashti. The most beautiful maidens in the kingdom were brought to him that he might choose a successor to Vashti. The king loved her; she became his wife and queen of Persia.

As Mordecai requested, Esther kept her descent from the Jewish race a secret from the king and his court. Song by the choir from Gospel Hymns. All people that on earth do dwell, Sing to the Lord with cheerful voice; Him serve with mirth, His praise forth tell, Come ye before Him and rejoice. O enter then His gates with praise, Approach with joy His courts unto: Praise, laud, and bless His name always, For it is seemly so to do. The Lord our God is good, His mercy is forever sure; His truth at all times firmly stood, And shall from age to age endure.

One of the king's favorites was Haman. He was often summoned before King Ahasuerus, who consulted with him about affairs of the kingdom and promoted him above all his other officials. One day as Haman passed on his way to court, he noticed that the Jew Mordecai would not prostrate himself before him as did the others. No doubt Mordecai saluted with a bow of courtesy, but would not humble himself, as did the others.

Only to God, the "King of Kings," were the Jews to supplicate in due humility for forgiveness of sin, not to men and not even to princes of the realm. It infuriated Haman that Mordecai would not thus humble himself. He told his wife, and she advised him to have Mordecai hanged on a gallows. This pleased him and he also decided to be avenged not only on Mordecai, but all the Jewish people. Mordecai had heard two of the king's servants plotting against the king.

He told it to Esther, who informed the king, and the servants were hanged. One night the king could not sleep, and one of the chamberlains read to him from the book of records and chronicles, about Mordecai's loyalty in saving him from the hands of the assassins. IlI Curtain is drawn aside, showing one of the king's servants reading to him while he is reclining on a couch. What honor and dignity has been done to Mordecai for this?

There is nothing done for him. Who is in the court? Behold, Haman standeth in the court. Let him come in.

Haman enters and the king questions him. Whom would the king delight to honor beside myself? Aloud he says to the king: For the man whom the king delighteth to honor, let royal apparel be brought which the king useth to wear, and the horse that the king rideth upon, and on whose head a crown royal is set, and let the apparel and the horse be delivered to the hands of one of the king's most noble princes, that they may array the man therewith whom the king delighteth to honor, and cause him to ride on horseback before him: Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delighteth to honor.

Make haste, and take the apparel and the horse, as thou hast said, and do even so to Mordecai the Jew, that sitteth at the king's gate; let nothing fail of all that thou hast spoken. Song by choir from Gospel Hymns; to be sung by choir or as a solo by a sister or brother. Under the shadow of Thy throne, Still may we dwell secure; Sufficient is Thine arm alone, And our defense is sure.

Before the hills in order stood, Or earth received her frame, From everlasting Thou art God, To endless years the same.

A thousand ages, in Thy sight, Are like an evening gone; Short as the watch that ends the night, Before the rising sun. Worthy Matron, or any member she selects, continues to explain from the Book of Esther.

When Mordecai heard of the decree, that on a certain day all the Jews within the provinces over which King Ahasuerus ruled were to be put to death at the instigation of the cruel Haman, there was great grief among the Jews. Mordecai sent word to Esther to intercede with the king in behalf of her people, the Jews.

After further pleading of Mordecai, she consents: Curtain is drawn aside, showing the king seated on a throne; there is a crown on his head and the golden scepter in his hand. Esther and Haman and one or two officials are there.

Esther has on a beautiful robe, with purple cape or mantle and a crown on her head. She steadily looks at the king and touches her crown and robe. The king should look angry and frown. As she comes near to where he is seated he suddenly smiles at her and says: KING extending the scepter, which she touches: Whatever thy petition it shall be granted thee; and whatever thy request, even to the half of the kingdom, it shall be performed.

My petition and my request is: If I have found favor in the sight of the king, and if it please the king to grant my petition, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request; for we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish. But if we had been sold for bondmen and bondwomen, I had held my peace, for the adversary is not worthy that the king be endamaged.

Who is he, and where is he, that durst presume in his heart to do so? An adversary and an enemy, even this wicked Haman. She points at Haman, who kneels before her and covers his face.

Behold also, the gallows fifty cubits high, which Haman hath made for Mordecai, who spoke good for the king, standeth in the house of Haman. Officers take the cowering Haman from the presence of the king. Esther falls on her knees before the king; he extends to her the scepter, which she touches; then stands and speaks to the king. Behold, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and him they have hanged upon the gallows, because he laid his hand upon the Jews. Write ye also concerning the Jews, as it liketh you, in the king's name, and seal it with the king's ring; for the writing which is written in the king's name, and sealed with the king's ring, may no man reverse.

The king gives Mordecai the ring. Mordecai and Esther bow deeply before the king. In all ages has God raised up champions for the oppressed and persecuted. The Jews, the descendants of the Hebrews, are scattered over the face of the earth as witnesses to the Living God. No country whose people persecute them can prosper. Justice and right will prevail; persecution and slander can not hold out against them. The Hebrew word for Esther is Hadassah, which means "Star.

Purim, or the feast of Esther, is celebrated among the Jews in gladness and thanksgiving. Esther's heroic deed is reviewed from year to year, and the poor and distressed among the Jews are remembered with gifts so they can also rejoice. Esther faces audience, holding in her hand the crown and scepter, united. She holds her position while the following song is sung.

At conclusion, curtain is slowly drawn. I want to live above the world, Tho' Satan's darts are at me hurled; My faith has caught the joyful sound, The song of saints on higher ground. Have we at all times and in all places "maintained a discreet silence respecting all transactions in the chapter room" when talking to our neighbors?

Are we so impressed with the beautiful lessons taught in our Ritual to the extent of defending the character of all members of the Order "so far as truth, honor and justice will warrant? Or have we lost sight of such things and in a spirit of revenge let loose the most powerful member of the body in order that we might pay the debt of some fancied injury and thus cast a stain on some one, reflecting discredit upon the Order and disgrace upon ourselves?

Bethany was a small, unkempt village, situated on the southeast side of the Mount of Olives, less than two miles from Jerusalem, on the road from Jericho. Not much of a city, but what memories are awakened by the mention of it! In this town there lived a family consisting of the sisters, Martha and Mary, and their brother, Lazarus, and that is about all that is known of them, except that wonderful story that is woven about them.

The brother was a laborer, and the sisters were the housekeepers. They were in the habit of entertaining as a guest the new teacher, known as Jesus. Mary seems to have been of a more studious turn of mind, and frequently sat at the feet of Jesus and listened to His wonderful teachings. The home at Bethany was to Jesus a home of quiet and rest, and He often came and partook of their hospitality, for a sincere affection had sprung up between them.

And what a beautiful friendship it was! Indeed, Martha felt so close to Jesus that she actually complained to Him that Mary had not done her share of the work.

This little incident proves in a graphic manner His intimate standing in the family, and that they considered Him not as a guest but as a guide and counselor as well.

So when the brother was taken suddenly ill and died it was but natural that the sisters should long. They knew His power in healing the sick and relieving the blind and the lame. They knew that by a word or a touch He had cured maladies which had been pronounced as incurable.

He had even invaded the realm of death and awakened the pulses to life. They knew that His power equaled their need, but He did not come; the days passed and still He tarried. At last, in despair, they sent a messenger to Him to inform Him that Lazarus was ill unto death.

But still He delayed, and when He at last reached Bethany, Lazarus had lain in his tomb four days. Rumor reached the sisters as they sat in their home sorrowing, that Jesus was returning to Bethany.

Martha with her natural impulsiveness - strong, unsubdued by emotion - rushed out to meet Jesus and came upon Him just outside the little town of Bethany. And the burden of her heart is expressed in her first words, "Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. Her brother was dead to her forever as far as this world was concerned. And then to Martha Jesus uttered that most precious promise and assurance of immortality, "He. And then Martha hastened to her sister Mary to tell her that the Master had returned.

And Mary, too, hastened to meet Him, and she, too, said: It was a tense moment and even Jesus wept. And then they all went to the tomb of Lazarus. It was a momentous occasion. Everyone present felt it to be so. But when Jesus said: One can well imagine the great joy that filled the hearts of these sisters when their brother stood before them, restored to life and to their arms. Martha and Mary represent the types of women that are with us today as they have always been.

Both were disciples of Christ, both of them pleasing to Him. Both accepted His teachings, and both believed Him to be the Messiah. These two sisters express in a figurative way the life present and the life to come, the life of color exemplified in the activities of Martha and the quiet studious life as exemplified by Mary.

Life's greatest lessons are often learned in the valley of sorrow, and these sisters were no exception to the rule. Mary may be loved for her finer. Martha is the patron saint of all good housewives, careful mothers and skillful and efficient nurses of the present generation.

Her character makes a strong appeal to all active men and women; and the fact that when confronted with family disaster she sought Jesus as her great teacher and helper, makes her a notable example to follow. And there came to her, a woman, that great message that for almost two thousand years has been the solace to all whose loved ones have been taken by death: Yea, I believe; Lord, let this hour Some gracious token give; 0, grant a sweet, reviving power, That others may believe; - Yea, Lord, I do believe!

Wildly her hands are joined in form of love, As at the Saviour's feet the mourner lies; Beseechingly she raises them above While showers of teardrops blind her languid eyes; Then looks, and pleads, and supplicates His aid In words that win her brother from the dead. Raise thy hands above, sweet mourner, Higher, higher, toward the throne; Ah, He sees thee, hears thy story, Hears and feels that plaintive moan.

He has wept for human sorrows; Let thy sorrows with Him plead; Raise thy hands in faith, and doubt not, He hath power o'er the dead. Yet some must serve! Not all with tranquil heart, Even at Thy dear feet, Wrapped in devotion sweet, May sit apart!

Yet man must earn And women bake the bread; And some must watch and wake Early for others' sake, Who pray instead! Yet some must do Life's daily task - work; some Who fain would sing must toil Amid earth's dust and moil, While lips are dumb! The Worthy Matron may appoint other members beside "Martha" and the Worthy Patron to do this reading if desired.

The choir will sing, and Martha should have the stand with her emblem, the broken column, beside her. The heroine representing the fourth point of the star is Martha. Martha and Mary, with their brother, Lazarus, lived in Bethany. Jesus was a friend of Lazarus, and during His ministry often rested in his home. The sisters shared in the friendship of Lazarus and Jesus.

In the tenth chapter of St. Luke is a description of one of these visits. Martha welcomed Jesus to their home, and then went about her household duties as usual.

But "Mary sat at Jesus' feet and heard His word. Bid her therefore that she help me? Mary, at the feet of Jesus, was listening to words of holy wisdom. Martha, perhaps, could have arranged her work, or simplified it in such a way, that. There are many men and women who arrange their work, or forego some pleasure and ease, to study the Book of Books and attend religious services. Many of our sisters in the Eastern Star have memorized their lectures when alone at home and engaged in their household duties, and have thereby been enabled to fill their stations more efficiently.

This sad, tender story is contained in the 11th chapter of St. I will read from the 19th through the 25th verse: The fair flowers wither in their bloom, but blossom anew, "in a better country, the heavenly. The young and the old, the strong and the feeble, the wise and the simple, the good and the bad, all must die. It is a blessed comfort, therefore, to believe in the Immortality of the Soul, to know that only the body is dead, but that the soul will live on forever in perfect peace and happiness.

Martha holds up her emblem, the broken column, while the choir sings. O, child of God, wait patiently When dark thy path may be, And let thy faith lean trustingly On Him who cares for thee; And though the clouds hang drearily Upon the brow of night, Yet in the morning joy will come, And fill thy soul with light. O, child of God, He loveth thee, And thou art all His own: With gentle hand He leadeth thee, Thou dost not walk alone; And though thou watchest wearily The long and stormy night, Yet in the morning joy will come, And fill thy soul with light.

O, child of God, how peacefully He calms thy fears to rest, And draws thee upward tenderly Where dwell the pure and blest; And He who bendeth silently Above the gloom of night, Will take thee home where endless joy Shall fill thy soul with light.

Thank God for Faith! It is a lamp unto our path and a light to our feet. We need have no fears in this life nor for the life to come. What must we do to inherit eternal life? Can we meet our Heavenly Father's requirements? For our God is a God of infinite wisdom, justice, love and mercy and does not ask anything of His children that is too hard. Only to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God. All souls are His. All who serve God and their fellow men will find a place of rest in that heavenly home, "where the many mansions be.

Nearer my Father's house, Where many mansions be, Nearer the great white throne today, Nearer the crystal sea. A laughing, rippling tune of joy, That has no single note of joy, I never know just what 'twill be That starts the little song for me.

It may be but a handclasp true, Or word of faith that someone said. Perchance it is a friendly smile Or lovely poem I have read That wakens up the little song That sings within me all day long. The first is, "Heroic endurance of persecution when demanded in the defense of truth; the second, an abiding faith in the final triumph of truth. The scene of the story is laid in Asia Minor, the peninsula lying between the Black Sea on the north and the Mediterranean Sea on the south.

The date of the writing of this story is between 85 and 95 A. Persecution comes in many different forms and for various purposes. Whatever the form, whether it be the faithlessness of a trusted friend, the caustic sneer of an enemy, the outflashing of envy or jealousy on the part of a trusted friend, discourtesy on the part of a superior or just the visitation of some trial that may come to you - whatever may be the form, there is but one safe course to pursue, and that is "bear it with heroic endurance and despair not.

A woman of refinement and wealth who wanted to feed and succor the poor and hungry and to relieve the sufferings of those afflicted with body ills.

She delighted in using her vast wealth for the relief of mankind. It is said that she opened not her mouth, that she uttered no word of protest, but took the cross in her hands and clasped it with ardor to her breast, and looked toward heaven to show that she put her trust in the God of her religion. The scripture text from which this heroine takes her lead is found in the Second Epistle of John, and is only a short letter addressed to "the Elect Lady and her children.

The name of Electa, like that of Adah, seems to be a creation of Robert Morris, the writer of the Eastern Star ritual, and it has no significance outside our Order. John - the Christian woman whose venerable years were crowned with the utmost splendor of the crucifixion. The fact that the name of this estimable woman can not be ascertained with certainty does not lessen our interest nor the value of the many lessons taught.

The story is true enough, but it is the name only, so to speak, that does not have a basis in fact. The lesson taught can be widely and wisely applied. John exhorts her to love. The clearest expression of love is obedience to the will of God so far as He has revealed His will in definite precepts. The splendid mansion of Electa was singled out as one to be visited. The edict of the Roman government was issued against every one who professed the Christian religion.

All who were suspected of holding to the Faith were commanded to trample upon the cross that was handed to them, as a testimony of this renunciation. Electa absolutely refused to obey the edict. She spurned the test, and she and her family were forthwith cast into a dungeon for twelve months. At the end of the time the judge, who had often shared her hospitality, appeared and offered her another opportunity to recant from Christianity, and again she refused.

Thereupon she was dragged forth and savagely scourged nearly to death, and then dragged to a hill where she and her entire family were nailed to the cross. She was the last one to meet that fate, and she was compelled to witness the tragic death of her husband and children. She is quoted as saying with her expiring breath: It meant loss of good name, wealth, means of doing good, liberty, family, and death itself.

Yet she was willing to undergo all these things for the love of Christ and for the Christian religion in which she showed such implicit faith. She is also an example of the Eternal Truth as laid down by Jesus when He said: When cares press heavy on the heart, And all is gloom around, Where shall we fix the heavy eye, In all this mortal bound? What emblem has the mourner here? What love to warm, what light to cheer? Thine, true Electa, thine which tells Of His distress and thine! The cross upon whose rugged limbs Ye both did bleed and pine!

The cross by heavenly wisdom given To raise our thoughts from earth to heaven. Dying, as Jesus died, upon the tree - Was ever worthier sacrifice than hers?

Sacred the Cross, the nail, the thorn; for He Who suffered has redeemed them from the curse; Just as she passed to bless eternity She pled forgiveness to her murderers. This program, like Martha, may be given at a regular meeting, "for the Good of the Order. Those taking part in the choir should sit near the piano.

The fifth heroine, Electa, lived during the time when Christians were persecuted by the Romans. She was a pagan, but had been converted to Christianity. Like other Christian martyrs, she remained loyal to her faith in spite of persecution.

When a band of Roman soldiers commanded her to trample upon the cross, the symbol of her Christian faith, she refused to obey. The penalty for this defiance and refusal to worship the Roman gods was death. Electa had the courage of her convictions and preferred death and torture rather than give up her worship of God.

She was a noble lady who was held in great esteem and honor for her many deeds of charity and benevolence. The second epistle of John is a letter by him John to the Elect Lady and her children. Love of humanity has ever inspired mankind to noble deeds. Charity is another name for love of humanity. The Apostle Paul comments on Charity: Electa holds up her emblem, the Cup, while the choir sings. Heir of salvation, purchase. This is my story, this is my song; Praising my Saviour all the day long.

Perfect submission, perfect delight, Visions of rapture now burst on my sight. Angels descending, bring from above Echoes of mercy, whispers of love. Perfect submission, all is at rest, I, in my Saviour, am happy and blest. Watching and waiting, looking above, Filled with His goodness, first in His love. CHARITY Stern winter comes with icy footsteps speedy, And many hearts are filled with doubts and fear; Our duty 'tis to aid the poor and needy, Who have no home, or but a chamber drear.

Let us fulfill the sacred word once spoken: That he who giveth, lendeth to the Lord. This word shall ne'er be broken, The giver's heart shall feel divine reward. Give to the poor! Whene'er the cry of poverty resoundeth, Sweet charity, 0 hasten thy relief! Pursue thy noble task! Thou driest tears and calmest bitter grief, Let all the world thy fair example follow.

All things are proved by the still voice within; And they who give to those oppressed with sorrow, A higher prize than gold can buy shall win. Song by choir or as a solo from Gospel Hymns. Cast thy bread upon the waters, You who have but scant supply; Angels eyes will watch above it; You shall find it by and by; He who in His righteous balance, Doth each human action weigh, Will your sacrifice remember, Will your loving deeds repay.

Cast thy bread upon the waters, Sad and weary, worn with care; Often sitting in the shadow, Have you not a crumb to spare? Can you not to those around you Sing some little song of hope, As you with longing vision Through faith's mighty telescope? Cast thy bread upon the waters, You who have abundant store; It may float on many a billow, It may strand on many a shore;. You may think it lost forever, But, as sure as God is true, In this life, or in the other, It will yet return to you.

Fraternal love, sisters and brothers, is based on broad Charity. To exemplify fraternal love, we must be charitable in thought, word and deed. We must abide by the Golden Rule: That which is given willingly and gladly, with a loving thought, is most acceptable to God and man. God wants us to give Him our life; to consecrate ourselves to His service; to exemplify our love. The heroines of our Order exemplify such consecration.

Take my feet and let them be Swift and beautiful for Thee; Take my voice and let me sing Always - only - for my King. Take my moments and my days, Let them flow in endless praise; Take my intellect, and use Ev'ry pow'r as Thou shalt choose. Take my will and make it Thine; It shall be no longer mine; Take my heart, it is Thine own. It shall be Thy royal throne. If chapter has not been closed before the program, it is closed in form. So is the lesson of Fidelity Engraved on hearts in terms of daughter love, And we, adoring through the years beyond, Can emulate the pattern that she wove.

Hearing your father, you understood, You came from your mountains with many friends; Your faith was true and your heart was good, And yours is a story that never ends. RUTH In the far distant past, from the land of Judea, Naomi, her husband, and two sons were driven By famine to exile in Moab's far land, Where by death, the grim specter, those families were riven.

The sons had as wives two maidens of Moab, Idolatrous maidens were Orpha and Ruth; But Ruth later turned to adore the true God, And through life exemplified His holy truth. Naomi grew bitter through loss of her husband, Her sons, and her impoverished life, Changed her name of Naomi, meaning of pleasant, To Mara, or bitter, from trouble and strife. Naomi then thought to return to her homeland, Where kindred and friends might assuage all her grief; So, bidding farewell to Ruth and to Orpha, Set out to return to the land of her youth.

Though Orpha was grieved at the thought of a parting, She soon was agreed to Naomi's advice; But no thought of self was in fair Ruth's answer. She wanted to pay for love's duty full price. In deep love she murmured, "Entreat me no longer To leave thee, or never to follow thee more; Thy people, thy God, are mine as thine own, With thee will I stay for the God we adore. Ruth made herself exile from all she had known, Attending the poor and aged woman so dear; And by menial labor, in those harvest fields, Supported Naomi and added love's cheer.

As she, in her loyalty, found minute harvest, There Boaz found Ruth, a kinsman so fair; Enquiring, observing, he gave of his largess That her path was made bright by his constant care. From these small beginnings, the seed of love blossomed, The fruits of her toil through a much burdened life; For Boaz desired her, admiring her virtue, And happy was Ruth when he chose her for wife.

Sacred chronicles tell us that Christ was descended From Ruth, Moabites, and Boaz, her mate; No reward could be greater, no glory more fitting, For, in choosing her duty, Ruth did not hesitate. She portrayed through her life that fidelity loyal, Is not different for God than it is to mankind; And, as she was true to her duties so menial, So in minute way, in His mill doth God grind.

Young and old revere the legendary lore, Of the prince who came to Cinderella's aid; And thrill to the story of kings in their glory, Of King Cephetua and the beggar maid. But grander far, in the past of our Star, Is the story of virtue triumphant o'er sin; Of a Jewish daughter, and a king who sought her, To acknowledge her beauty, her heart to win. Esther was she in four hundred B. With parents both dead, she shared kinsmans' bread, And Mordecai raised her to young womanhood. Mordecai the Jew, in her did imbue All modesty, virtue, the great and the good.

Years before, in that land, at an occasion grand, Ahasuerus yielded to a drunken whim; Violating routine, he ordered his Queen To appear all unveiled for his guests and for him. Ahasuerus swore, on that day years before, Queen Vashti must obey his edict's intent; But the virtuous Queen could herself not demean, And willingly suffered complete banishment.

Then maidens beautiful, virtuous, dutiful, Were met that the Emperor might choose a Queen; With a charm to enthrall and the fairest of all Was Mordecai's Esther, a beauty serene. From an orphan alone she rose to the throne, Her virtues, once humble, now rose on the wing; In thought and act stood for all that was good, And upheld the honor of husband and king. A noble of fame, 'twas Haman by name, Conceived a great hatred of Jews of each station; Then by craft and guile, this wily Gentile Would kill every Jew in that mighty nation.

When Queen Esther learned of that edict confirmed, Her heart was heavy with deep despair; For edicts enacted could not be retracted, And loving her people, their troubles must share. When wisdom was needed, the king had oft heeded To words of advice from his excellent Queen; In high racial pride did Esther decide Between law and kinsman she must intervene. Then wearing her crown, and fine queenly gown, Against royal precept she drew near the throne; Amazement and ire from the King's eyes drew fire, That she should appear in that chamber alone.

Soon delight and pride cast anger aside, Extending the scepter to Esther's fair hand; He asked her desire and promised entire Acquiescence to anything she might demand. She asked that the King would his nobles bring, And Haman as well, to a banquet that night; There she earned all applause by pleading the cause That meant life for her people in their desperate plight. In vain anger the King learned the grievious thing, And Haman was punished for his wickedness; A new edict devised and the Jews authorized To arm and protect themselves in their distress.

In courage and firmness, in virtue to excess, In radiant goodness the fair maiden grew; Though Persians invest her with fair name Esther, Still Hebrew Hadassah, meaning lovely, is true. These many years later, we know of no greater, The stories through centuries carry her fame: Volunteers help soothe West Virginia's drug-exposed babies. Unvaccinated child dies of the flu in Florida.

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