Pastor Lazaro, Guest Speaker – Oct. 9, 2016

Click below to listen to the audio file of our guest speaker, Pastor Lazaro from Cuba, with Pastor Ben interpreting.

https://clyp.it/rq4g53uu

Transcript in Spanish and then Ben’s English translation below:

Texto: 1Cor 12:12-27

Introduccion: Uno de los mayores problemas que tengo cuando vengo a los EU es la comunicacion. He tenido la posibilidad de venir por 4 veces y siempre la comunicacion ha sido el gran problema,porque conoces a alguien y quieres decirle lo que sientes y no puedes, porque el idioma no te lo permite.

Estuve en estos dias en la casa del Pastor Michael Shelman, nos conocimos en Julio en su visita del FUM en Cuba y ahora tuve el gusto de estar en su casa con su familia. Nuestra comunicacion no fue muy buena que digamos, intentamos hablarnos lo poco que cada cual sabia de Ingles y Espanol, pero no mucho. Una noche tuvimos un encuentro con hermanos de su Iglesia e invitaron a la esposa de otro pastor para que me sirviera de interprete en un conversatorio. Cuando termino este tiempo, la esposa de Michael se acerco a mi y a la interprete y le dijo a ella que me dijera en un minuto lo que no habia podido decirme en cuatro dias en su casa;comenso a decirme:

– Perdon por llegar tarde al Aeropuerto

– Perdon por tener mi casa desordenada por los ninos.

– Perdon por hacer ruido en la cocina mientras dormias.

Todos esos perdones me dieron risa, pero me dieron tristeza tambien, porque si la comunicacion hubiera sido buena en su casa, ella me hubiera dicho cada cosa en su momento y no esperar a un interprete en la Iglesia para decirme todo lo que sentia.

– ʺLa falta de comunicacion, nos afecta mucho como seres humanosʺ.

– En Cuba decimos que conocemos la vida de todos los vecinos, la gente esta muy atenta a los demas porque hay mucha relacion, pero aqui he conocido que se vive mas a puertas cerradas, nadie conoce a profundidad como es su vecino.

– Pero ya sea de una manera o de otra, Dios nos ha creado seres gragarios para depender y relacionarnos los unos de los otros.

Desarrollo:

  1. I) El Apostol Pablo dice que la Iglesia es como un cuerpo,Cristo es la cabeza y los miembros de ese cuerpo somos nosotros y cada uno tiene una funcion especifica.

– Nadie es mas importante, ni menos importante, todos cumplimos una funsion especifica y con eso es suficiente. Pero para que cada cual entienda su funsion, debe relacionarse como miembros del cuerpo de Cristo.

Pablo dice: La oreja no puede decirle al ojo tu no eres importante, ni la mano puede decir al pie tu no eres importante. Porque cada cual tiene su funcion y se mueve para lo cual fue creada.

  1. a) La Iglesia como una comunidad de fe, fue creada para vivir en relacion, y debe tener en cuenta a cada uno de sus miembros. Reconociendo que cada uno tiene una funcion que cumplir y que nadie es mejor ni mayor que el otro. Porque como diria Jesus: ʺEl que quiera ser el mayor y el primero, debe convertirse en el siervo y mas pequeno de todos.ʺ
  2. II) La Biblia nos ensena que uno de los propositos por el cual fuimos creados fue para ʺrelacionarnos y comunicarnosʺ.

– El proposito es el ʺCompanerismo o Comunionʺ en Griego: ʺKoinoniaʺ

– Si en esta manana se me pidiera que resumiera el cristianismo en una palabra, yo diria: RELACION.

– Relacion con Dios y Relacion con mi Projimo.

Muchas veces hemos complicado al Cristianismo con docmas, sacramentos y leyes. Pero el cristianismo es mas sencillo, con solamente relacionarnos y comunicarnos con Dios y con nuestro projimo, es suficiente. Lo demas podemos decir que es anadidura del cristianismo y eso nos ha afectado como cuerpo de Cristo.

 

  1. a) Si vamos a la Biblia, en el Antiguo Testamento, nos vamos a dar cuenta que es la Historia del pueblo de Israel relacionandose con Dios.

 

  1. b) En el Nuevo Testamento encontramos a Jesus en su Ministerio terrenal, pero nos vamos a percatar que Jesus no quiere estar solo, sino que llama a 12 para compartir las tareas y relacionarse con ellos, despues llama a 70, luego en pentecostes habian como 120, Pedro predica su primer sermon y se convierten como 3 000 y luego como 5 000.

– Nos damos cuenta que todo es: Relacion, Relacion, Relacion…Es decir, que el cristianismo no es para vivir aislados, es para vivir en Comunidad de Relacion.

 

  1. c) Y la Iglesia debe continuar relacionandoce y comunicandose, de lo contrario dejariamos de ser Iglesia.

– Yo creo que mi presencia aqui entre ustedes es porque hay una Relacion. El FUM existe como un organo que nos une. Y no importa lo lejos que vivamos, ni la forma en que vivimos, la Relacion existe y estamos unidos en Cristo para servir en cada una de nuestras comunidades de fe.

III) Hay dos textos en la Biblia que contrastan entre lo que quiere hacer el hombre por su cuenta y lo que quiere hacer Dios para unir a su pueblo.

– El primero es: ʺLa construccion de la Torre de Babelʺ: El hombre quiso construir una Torre para llegar al cielo, no conto con Dios, ellos planearon por su cuenta, se consideraron suficientes para llegar al cielo. Cual fue el resultado ?

– Dios confundio las lenguas. Los hombre dejaron de entenderse y no pudieron lograr su ʺProyecto Humanoʺ. Su plan fallo porque no estaba Dios en el asunto.

– El Segundo es: ʺEl dia de Pentecostesʺ: Estaban todos unanimes  juntos y de repente un viento recio soplo en el lugar, todos fueron llenos del Espiritu Santo y surgio el Milagro. Comensaron a hablar diferentes lenguas pero se les entendia lo que decian.

– En esta ocacion Dios unio las lenguas. Los Hombres se entendieron y se logro  el ʺProyecto Divinoʺ. El Plan dio resultado, porque Dios estaba en el asunto.

  1. a) Dios quiere que haya mas pentecostes.Tal vez el de la Iglesia primitiva fue especial, pero si tu y yo nos ponemos en las manos de Dios y nos dejamos quiar. Dios puede hacer el Milagro de unirnos en Amor, aun teniendo lenguas diferentes.
  2. IV) Desde muy temprano aprendi que el Cuaquerismo es como un tronco de un Arbol con muchas ramas. Todos sabemos que no tenemos nuestras experiencias de fe de la misma manera y eso puede ser bueno, porque nos enriquecemos con las experiencias de los demas. Reconociendo que donde hay un Cuaquero hay una persona diferente, con una experiencia diferente.

Pero lo que si no podemos perder es la Esencia o la Identidad del Cuaquerismo, porque sino dejariamos de ser quienes somos.

  1. a) En Cuba tenemos ahora un conflicto generacional como Iglesia. Los adultos quieren mantener la tradicion, los jovenes quieren que haya cambios. Que hacer ? Es la gran pregunta. Pero si creo, que pase lo que pase, no podemos perder nuestras raices y nuestra Identidad.

– El Cuaquerismo es una experiencia de Vida, que no se aprende en un Seminario teologico sino que se vivi y experimenta en el dia a dia, en nuestra Relacion con Dios y nuestros hermanos.

Conclusiones: Dios permita que nuestras relaciones como Iglesia puedan seguir  fortaleciendose y que como Amigos alrededo del Mundo podamos continuar dando un Testimonio de Paz y de servicio a aquellos que estan a nuestro alrededor y que necesitan de nosotros .

– Como diria el Apostol Pablo: ʺCada dia me desgasto mas por servir a Cristoʺ.

–  Esa debe ser la meta final de la IGLESIA  DE CRISTO, desgastarse por servir donde quiera que estemos y donde Dios nos necesite.

– Que el Senor nos bendiga. Que su Santo Espiritu se derrame en cada una de nuestras vidas, asi como fue en Pentecostes y que podamos hablar la lengua del Espiritu que es una sola en cualquier lugar del Mundo.AMEN.

= = =

Text: 1 Cor 12:12-27

Introduction: One of the biggest problems I have when I come to the US is communication. I have had the opportunity to come four times, and communication has always been the great problem, because I meet someone, and I want to tell them what I am feeling, and I can’t, because the language won’t permit me.

I have been staying the last few days at the home of Pastor Michael Shelman, we met in July during his FUM visit to Cuba, and now I have the pleasure of staying at his home with his family. Let’s just say that our communication has not been very good. We try to speak to each other with the little bit of English and Spanish that we know, but it’s not much. One night we had a meeting with some brothers and sisters from his Church, and they invited the wife of another pastor to serve as an interpreter for me in a conversation. When that time was over, Michael’s wife came over to me and to the interpreter and she said to interpreter that she would like to say to me in one minute what she had not been able to say to me for four days in her home. She started to tell me:

– Sorry for arriving late to the airport.

– Sorry for my house being a mess because of the kids.

– Sorry for making noise in the kitchen when you were sleeping.

All of these apologies made me smile, but they made me sad too, because if the communication had been good in her house, she would have been able to tell me each then in that moment, and not have to wait for an interpreter at that Church to tell me everything that she was feeling.

– ʺA lack of communication affects us a lot as human beingsʺ.   

– In Cuba we say that we know the lives of all of our neighbors, people are very aware of others, because there are a lot of connections. But here I have noticed that people live more behind closed doors. No one knows their neighbors deeply or who they really are.

– But one way or another, God has created us to be sociable beings, to depend upon and connect with one another.

Exposition:

  1. I) The Apostle Paul says that the Church is like a body, Christ is the head and we are the members of the body, and each one has a specific function.

– No one is more important, nor less important, everyone fulfills a specific function and is sufficient at it. But so that each one can understand their function, they should work together as members of the body of Christ.

Paul says: The ear should not say to the eye “you are not important”, nor should the hand say to the foot “you are not important”. Because each one has its function and is directed for that which it was created.

  1. a) The Church as a community of faith, was created to live in relationship, and should keep in mind each one of its members, recognizing that each one has a function to fulfill, and that no one is better nor greater than another. Because as Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.”
  2. II) The Bible teaches us that one of the purposes for which we were created was for “connection and communication”.

– The purpose is “Companionship or Communion” in Greek: ʺKoinoniaʺ

– If you asked me this morning to sum up Christianity in one word, I would say: CONNECTION

– Connection with God and Connection with my Neighbor.

Many times we have complicated Christianity with dogmas, sacraments, and laws. But Christianity is more simple, with only connecting and communicating with God and with our neighbor being enough. Everything else, we can say, is an addition to Christianity and has affected us as the body of Christ.

 

  1. a) If we go to the Bible, in the Old Testament, we will notice that it is the Story of the nation of Israel connecting with God.

 

  1. b) In the New Testament, we encounter Jesus in his earthly Ministry, but we will notice that Jesus does not want to be alone. Rather, he calls the Twelve in order to share the works and connect with them. After that he calls 70, later at Pentecost there were 120. Peter preaches his first sermon and it turns into 3,000, and later into 5,000.

 

– We can see what all of this is: Connection, Connection, Connection…That means that Christianity is not about living isolated, it is about living in Community and Connected Relationship.

  1. c) And the Church should continue to connect and communicate, or we will stop being The Church.

– I believe that my presence here among you all is because there is a Connection. FUM exists as a body that unites us. And it doesn’t matter how far apart we live, or the form in which we live, the Connection exists and we are united in Christ in order to serve in each one of our faith communities.

III) There are two texts in the Bible that contrast what mankind wants to do on its own, and what God wants to do in order to unite his people.

– The first is: “The Construction of the Tower of Babel”: Mankind wanted to construct a Tower in order to get to the heavens, not counting on God, they planned on their own, and considered themselves sufficient enough to reach the heavens. What was the result?

– God confused their tongues. Mankind stopped understanding each other and couldn’t achieve their “Human Project”. Their plan failed because God was not part of the equation.

– The second is: “The Day of Pentecost”: Everyone was gathered together and suddenly a strong wind blew on the place, everyone was filled with the Holy Spirit and the miracle happened. The all started to speak different tongues, but everyone could understand what everyone else was saying.

– On this occasion, God united the languages. Mankind understood each other and achieved the “Divine Project”. The Plan produced results because God was part of the equation.

  1. a) God wants there to be more “Pentacosts”. Perhaps the early Church was special, but if you and I put ourselves into God’s hands and leave ourselves in his care, God can make the miracle of uniting us in love, even having different languages.
  2. IV) From a very early age, I learned that Quakerism is like the trunk of a tree with many branches. All of us know that we do not have our experiences of faith in the same way, and that can be good, because we enrich each other with the experiences of one another. We recognize that where there is a Quaker, there is a different person, with a different experience.

But what we must not lose is the Essence or the Identity of Quakerism, because otherwise we will lose what it is to be who we are.

  1. a) In Cuba we now have a generational conflict as the Church. The adults want to maintain tradition, the youth want there to be change. What do we do? That’s the big question. But I do believe that no matter what happens, we cannot lose our roots and our identity.

– Quakerism is an experience of Life, that one cannot learn in a theological seminary. Rather it is lived and experienced in the day to day, in our Connection with God and our brothers and sisters.

Conclusions: God grant that our connections as a Church can continue to strengthen us, and that as Friends all around the World we can continue giving a Testimony of Peace and of service to those that are around us and that need us.

– As the Apostle Paul would say: ”Every day I wear myself out more by serving Christ.”

–  That should be the final goal of the Church of Christ, to wear ourselves out by serving where He wants us to be and where God needs us to be.

– May the Lord bless us. May His Holy Spirit spill out onto each of our lives, as it was at Pentecost, and may we speak the language of the Spirit that is the same in any place on Earth. AMEN.

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