Several years ago, I adopted this Pantoja Crest because I love what it means. I started wearing it and has been consistently displaying it in my communication media.
One Muslim friend got scared when he saw me wear this insignia: “It’s the symbol of Crusaders! Those Christians killed so many Muslims and took our lands through unjust wars!”
I said: “You’re right. The Cross had been misused in that way. I speak to you as a follower of Jesus who died on the Cross. The Cross proclaims the highest kind of love that Christ demonstrated based on John 15:13: “μειζονα ταυτης αγαπην ουδεις εχει ινα τις την ψυχην αυτου θη υπερ των φιλων αυτου” [Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends]. The Cross was never meant to be used as a symbol or a call for any colonial or imperialistic aspiration. It is a call to lay down our lives for others as a demonstration of our unconditional love. This is how we understand Genuine Love.”
WHAT OUR FAMILY CREST SYMBOLIZES
The red cross in the middle signifies the love of Jesus. The love of Jesus produces life-abundant — that is, harmony with God (spiritual transformation), harmony with one’s being (psycho-social transformation), harmony with others (socio-political transformation), and harmony with the creation (economic-ecological transformation).
The blue area represents shalom or salaam, the peace of God, as a result of living harmonious relationships with God, with my being, with others, and with creation.
The red areas represent the on-going cleansing of God from our unrighteousness and even the debunking of our fake righteousness (self-righteousness) that falsely see ourselves as better than others.
The white areas represent the righteousness we received through God’s grace (unmerited favor) and mercy (witheld punishment). It is through the work of Jesus of Nazareth that we experienced God’s embrace of love and forgiveness. Because of this spiritual experience, we see a new reality; a reality that is going through metamorphosis. This is a reality that energizes us to love in the midst of hatred, to commit to non-violence in the midst of violence, to forgive even if those who offended us do not ask for forgiveness, and to be willing to die, but not to kill, in advancing what we believe is truth.
The brick wall at the top represents the values that make our family stable–Love, Joy, Peace, Forbearance, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-control. These are the universal principles, the fruit of God’s Spirit, that must govern the very existence of all our children, our children’s children, and all the generations that God would allow to live in the coming years, decades, centuries, and ages to come.
Our family of five — Luis Daniel, Felicitas, J. Alethea, L’nielle Joy, and Daniel Byron — is committed to be submitted to the Creativity of the Creator, to the Peace of the Christ, and to the Energy of the Comforter, as we seek to bloom wherever we’re planted, in order to serve people in their journey towards holistic peace and reconciliation.
May our family and the generations after us live in accordance with the principles symbolized by this crest.
For the glory of God. For the peace of all people.