Metro Love


Metro Love

Professionals, students, laymen, and just ordinary people wait for the Metro to open it’s doors on a weekday afternoon. It’s a small testament to the current change in our culture from the use of the automobile, to more “Earth friendly” practices such as taking mass transit.

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Lesson from the Samaritan woman


ImageThe story of the Samaritan woman at the well is one that reveals a huge truth that should be a caution to most Christians (find the story in John 4:1-42). Here, Jesus demonstrates gentleness and respect that unfortunately, most of us who call ourselves Christians lack.

To understand what I am about to say, let me give you a quick background (really quick) to this story:

Jews hated Samaritans.

Women were not valued nor viewed upon highly in that time.

Jesus was a Jew.

Jesus was a man.

See, told you it would be a quick background.

Now, with this in mind we come to a story that shows Jesus talking to a Samaritan woman who (as he already knew) has had five husbands and is currently in a relationship with a man who is not her husband.  Now, if you were Jesus, and you came to this Samaritan woman who is in what would be considered a very wrong relationship, what would you do?

OK, hold that thought and read on.

Now Jesus, knowing what she is doing (and has done) asks her for water. Stop right there. So Jesus, knowing her “sin” asks her for water. He does not ask her about her sin, He asks her for water.  I’m going somewhere but keep reading.

After the women shares a comical discussion (in which she pretty much mocks Jesus), Jesus flat out tells her “I am the Christ”.  Actually, Jesus also tells her about true worship and how the Father is spirit.  One thing He does not touch is her “sin”, at least not the way you’d expect.  He uses her sin to establish his credibility but not to somehow tell her “you’re a sinner!” I think you know now where I’m going, but then again maybe you don’t, so keep reading :).

After the interaction, Jesus tells His disciples “My food…is to do the will of him who sent me” and “I sent you to reap what you have not worked for…” In other words, the work is the harvest.

OK what does all this mean?

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Why does this happen? Jesus was nor is anything like this.

As Christians we focus a lot on sin when dealing with the unbelievers or those not part of the “fold”.  We have churches carrying signs talking about how God hates fags and how God hates abortion.  But even worse, we have Christians who sees the sin of a person and completely miss the person themselves.  God does not approach people by slapping them in their face with their sin; as if they can do anything about that! Does not scripture say that God is the author and finisher of our faith? (Why yes it does, it says it here: Hebrews 12:2).  If he is the author and finisher of our faith, does it not stand to reason that he also works to sanctify us?

Jesus is the one who sanctifies us (1 Corinthians 1:30).

But how can He sanctify that which He does not have a relationship with?  And how can that which does not have a relationship with Christ, obtain one if we are not willing to share it?

You see beloved, God is concerned with our sanctity, but He knows that apart from Him we can do nothing (John 15:5).  An unbeliever who lacks a relationship can only act as someone who does not believe.  Is there sin? Of course. Can we change them? No.  So why beat them with something neither they nor we can change instead of introducing them to He who can?

Jesus did not approach the Samaritan woman with her sin.  He did not even beat her with her sin and reveal to her the vile sinner she was.  Why would he?  He LOVED her.  Rather, he showed her who He was and allowed her to come to Him.  Isn’t that what we are supposed to do?

Let’s drop these silly banners of hate and let’s pick up the flag of love.  You know that cross dresser?  Yeah, why don’t you go hug her and love her?  Sit down and have lunch sometime and discuss life.  Who knows, maybe she’ll see something she wants.  And maybe she’ll reach out and grab it for herself.  And after that, if God wants her to change, do you not think He’ll let her know? Of course He will.  But that’s not your job (nor is it mine for that matter).

Think about it.

Much love.

Juan

The truth about a realistic view of life.


ImageYou could argue that people fall within three categories; those who are positive; those who are pessimists; and those who fall somewhere in between as realists.

Positive people tend to live in an idealistic world where possibilities exist everywhere and nothing is really unattainable.  On the other hand, pessimists live in a cynical world where nothing could ever be too good (or good at all) and everything has a streak of negativism.  These two are the polar extremes to the human psyche.

Yet somewhere in between the two extremes there exists what is commonly known as the realists.  These people choose to see the world as “it is” with no delusion of extreme hope for something that seems impossible.  They’re not necessarily negative and their positivism have a “realistic” limit.  Sounds like a good balance overall…

Except for its flawed assumption. 

Those who profess to be realists assume to know what’s real.  No, I’m not one of those philosophers who argue against reality; rather I propose that we don’t fully understand it.

Let me explain

Those who are positive will see situations in an ideal light.  Some could argue that their idealism is too much or unbalanced.  However, when you look at great people in history or even people we consider great today, we find a common thread:

They chose to believe in what was ideally possible, not in what was considered realistically impossible.

Martin Luther King had a dream; a seemingly impossible dream.   But his dream became reality (to some point…but that’s a different blog).  Napoleon had a seemingly impossible dream, idealistic and seemingly unattainable.  But today, we know him for the fulfillment of his dream.  Steve Jobs had a dream.  He suffered some setbacks which made his dream seem like impossibility yet today we know him as one of the greatest businessman ever (among other things).

But here is the kicker,

Jesus showed us that what we understand to be “reality” is probably the worst illusion ever.  He taught us to pray prayers that where seemingly impossible (if you have the faith of a mustard seed you can tell this mountain to move and it will move…Matthew 17:20).  He challenged us to do things that where seemingly impossible (peter walking on the water Matthew 14:22-33). And what’s even more shocking, is the fact that Jesus said, we could do greater works than Him (John 14:12).

If you want to be a realist, that’s fine:

But understand that realism is much more than what we comprehend.  That which is real will always push us to our limits and arguably beyond it.  Realism will always keep us looking at that which is ideal, because the truth of it all is that we really don’t comprehend reality.  We barely comprehend ourselves!  So in order to do anything worthwhile, we have to look at that which we have no comprehension off.  We have to look at the ideal.

Don’t let negativism and “realism” hold you back from doing something great.

You are meant for greatness.  

You are created with a purpose.

And that purpose is not bound by our understanding of that which is real.

Juan Castillo Jr.