The Elect Lady
The scene of the fifth Star Point is laid in Asia Minor, a peninsula lying between the Black Sea on the North and the Mediterranean Sea on the south. On the west coast of the peninsula in Lydian, near the mouth of the Cayster river, situated on high ground of a fertile plain, is Ephesus, the residence of Saint John from about 67 A.D. to the end of his life. Except for occasional visits to established churches in Asia Minor, St. John most probably rarely went out from Ephesus. Asia Minor is a region of extraordinary fertility and beauty, but has bee ruined by centuries of waste and misgovernment. The exact date of the writing of the Epistle is not known, but is placed between 85 - 95 A.D.
Our information concerning Electa is based, for the most part on Masonic tradition. She was born and brought up in Asia Minor and, naturally, reared under the principles of paganism. She seems to have been well advanced in years when the edict of the Roman Government was issued against the followers of Christ. It is quite apparent that she was converted to the Christian faith under the preaching of St. Paul. Furthermore, she appears to have been a very influential woman in her community. She apparently spent her income in relieving the poor; devoted much time to the care of the and kept open house for the indigent and hungry travelers. Benevolence seems to have been the great passion of her life -- she sought out those who were lost and ministered to them.
The Christian religion, as we have endeavored to make clear, had become quite obnoxious to the people, and pressure was brought upon the Roman government for some action. Electa's mansion was said to have been the most splendid in the province. The edict of the Roman Government was issued against everyone who professed the religion of Christ. All Christians were bound to renounce it under penalty of death. Soldiers were enjoined to execute the law without mercy. All those suspected of holding the Christian faith were commanded to trample upon the cross that was handed to them as a testimony of their renunciation. Electa absolutely refused to comply with the edict. She spurned the test and said that she would never renounce her religion. She and her family were forthwith cast into a dungeon for twelve months, at the end of which time the judge appeared and offered her another opportunity to recant from Christianity, and again she refused. Thereupon she was dragged forth and savagely scourged nigh to death. They were then taken in oxcarts to the nearest hill where she and her family, one by one, were nailed to the cross. She was the last of the family to be crucified, and thus witnessed the tragic death of her husband and children. She may well have uttered with her expiring breath, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."
She professed her faith to the whole world, although she knew what reproaches, persecutions even unto death, that she must undergo for the stand that she took. It meant the loss of good name, wealth, of means of doing good, of liberty, of husband and children, and of life itself. Yet she was willing to undergo all these things for the love of Christ and for the Christian religion in which she showed the most implicit faith. What a rich heritage is hers! "For we know that if our earthly house of the tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."
Her gentle smile and yielding heart
Shall grace our world no more;
She chose the true but bitter part
Her Saviour chose before;
The Cross its gloomy load had borne,
The grave concealed its prey,
But in the triumphs she had won
We cast all tear away.
This heartless world but ill can spare
Its jewels rich and few, --
But she, most excellent and rare,
The generous and the true --
She, is departing, left to earth
Such patterns of her faith,
That though her life was matchless worth
Even worthier was her death.
By her we learn, the tenderest heart
Is braviest to indure --
For at the Cross He'll not desert
Who all its sufferings bore;
Amongst ten thousand, fairest she,
When bleeding, dying, high,
Her risen Lord proclaimed her free,
And called her to the sky.
Her fame upon the wings of Time
Through every land has swept, --
Electa's FAITH, unmatched, sublime,
Electa's NAME has kept;
Meek, radiant one! Whose willing blood
Thy faith in Christ did seal,
While hearts can feel and tears be stirred,
Thy history we will tell.
-- Rob Morris
The beautiful hands of our Master
Breaking bread, toserve each friend;
His lovely smile, in passing the Cup
Are treasures time never will end.
Electa, our Lady of warm charity,
And hospitality, true,
Fills her Cup with sincere love,
To be shared by me, and you.
Close to the glowing heart of our Star,
And that of each sister and brother,
Is the sweet counsel Electa gives,
"Let us love one another."
Her message comes to each member
With gladness, deep and sincere;
Walking together the Star-lit trail
We grow closer, year by year!
Each Star Point is painted on one of the major panels in the ceiling. The several emblems and flowers represented by our heroines are painted on smaller panels.
The picture of Electa extending hospitality and food to the poor man is one of the beautiful paintings of our Star Points painted on the ceiling of the State Room at the International Temple in Washington, D. C. by artist Eric Adkins (1996).
Members are invited to visit the Temple at 1618 New Hampshire Ave., NW Washington, D.C.