Greetings Friends & Companions,
First and foremost, for this month’s address I would like to congratulate our three newest companions, Adam Smith, James Piper, and Kenneth Landstrom, as well as the multichapter degree team which made it all possible. It was a great night, and I wish these companions a multitude of blessings on their continued journey with us.
Spring is making its final bumpy decent into Michigan, and for Royal Arch Masons spring means elections and installations. Well as you may have previously read the officers of Washtenaw Chapter will be serving a second term so if you want to attend one of our installations you’re just going to have to wait till next year. Sorry. But there have been two very notable lineup changes. As many of you know Al Christ has moved out of state for work, but has still maintained many duties as secretary. Well given it’s pretty difficult to do the job hundreds of miles away Art Davidge has graciously agreed to take over as secretary for the insuring year. Along with Art, George Lucero has also taken over the position of King for Walt Howarth whose health has made it difficult for him to attend as of late. So given there will be no lavish installation ceremony, our newly elected companions will have to settle for my sincere thanks for taking these new positions, and hope that they will take as much joy sitting in those positions as I have in seeing them there.
In preparing for last month’s degree I found myself in want of a certain ring which I was unable to find. After a time I decided upon a suitable ring for my purposes, but it did leave me wondering why the heck I was looking for it in the first place. The ring I was looking for was the signet of Zerubbabel. So who is Zerubbabel and why is his signet so important?
Well while he isn’t someone you run into during the first three degrees, continue your search for light and you’ll find that he’s a bit of an appendant body celebrity. Whether you go York or Scottish Rite his influence on a number of degrees cannot be avoided. So who is he? Well Sometime in the 6th century, BC, Zerubbabel, the Jewish prince led the Jews out of Babylonian captivity, and traveled a rough road of his own which involved standing up to a king, becoming the governor of Judah and laying the foundation for the second temple. Religious texts don’t give us all that much to go on but his importance cannot be understated.
So what’s the deal with his signet ring? Well for starters a signet ring is a ring which was historically used by those in authority to place an official seal upon wax in order to deem documents genuine. Meaning whoever carried the ring carried the authority that came along with the seal. Well Zerubbabel, being a ruler of antiquity may have very well carried a signet ring for the afore mentioned purpose, but as is often the case, we have to go deeper than that.
“Zerubbabel the LORD’s Signet Ring
The word of the LORD came to Haggai a second time on the twenty-fourth day of the month: “Tell Zerubbabel governor of Judah that I am going to shake the heavens and the earth. I will overturn royal thrones and shatter the power of the foreign kingdoms. I will overthrow chariots and their drivers; horses and their riders will fall, each by the sword of his brother. “‘On that day,’ declares the LORD Almighty, ‘I will take you, my servant Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will make you like my signet ring, for I have chosen you,’ declares the LORD Almighty.”
- Haggai 2:20-23 NIV
Zerubbabel may have had a unique place as the man who led the Jews out of captivity, and as the governor of Judah but I think it can easily be said that none of those titles compare to signet ring of the LORD of Hosts. It’s isn’t the signet of Zerubbabel we should be looking for, but looking to Zerubbabel as that seal od divine authority. Zerubbabel, from that day fourth would become a sign of the LORD’s authenticity on this Earth and continue his work with a divine seal of approval.
Zerubbabel, Governor of Judah, Builder of the Second Temple, Notary of the Almighty. Whatever his title there is no mistaking that this man was of great importance and worthy example for any Mason to follow.
I’ve hope you enjoyed this month’s address and further hope that if you’re able you might drop in to visit us at one of our meetings on the third Monday of each month at Calvary Methodist Church in Ann Arbor. We have a small meal that begins at 6:15pm and we open at 7pm. And if you are not yet a companion, we’d welcome your petition. It’s a rough road, but well worth the journey.
Brandon Mullins, HP