Here is another pair of photos from my friend Carlos in Sevilla. This is a medal for the Royal Sevillian Economic Society of Friends of the Country. It is dated 1775, one year before the independence of the United States of America, when Carlos III was king of Spain. The society was founded that year, and was a patriotic society to promote agriculture and commerce, and economic growth.
The first thing that caught my eye, and the reason Carlos sent the picture, is the NODO emblem of Sevilla. As I explained on Dec. 17, 2010 in this blog, the city emblem and motto for Sevilla comes from the city standing behind Alfonso X in the 13th century. The 8 is actually a madeja, or a bundle of wool. So if you read the motto, it would be NO MADEJA DO, a phonetic way of saying NO ME HA DEJADO, which in English is THEY HAVE NOT LEFT ME, or THEY HAVE NOT ABANDONED ME.
But, there are also three torches running through the madeja. And, there is another motto, of this society: Da Luces Siempre Fiel. Siempre Fiel is Spanish for the well known simper fidelis (fi), the motto of the Marines, always faithful. The entire Spanish motto is “Give Light – Always Faithful.” And here is a photo of a medallion from 1874, with the same motto, and same NODO emblem with three torches.
I like these, because they have meaning for me today, in 2011, some 236 years and 137 years after the medallions were produced. I think sharing Good Love, and turning Good Love into Better Love, has the effect of giving light – demonstrating the importance of love. And being always faithful in demonstrating Good Love means also practicing forgiveness, the secret of Good Love (Feb. 18, 2011).
But the medallions carry even more meaning for today. “They have not abandoned me” brings to mind Hebrews 13:5, which is a quote from Joshua 1:5, I will never leave you nor forsake (abandon) you. Just as Alfonso X appreciated that the city of Sevilla did not abandon him in the 13th century, we all appreciate that our loved ones do not abandon us, and we do not abandon them. It is even better to know that Best Love says God will never abandon us either.
And there is much in the Bible about light. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. (Psl 119:105). He has given us light. Just prior to healing a blind man, Jesus said, “While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (John 9:5). But He says we don’t have to be blind or in darkness either: “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” (John 12:46).
And we are to love our brother, with Good Love. Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him. (I John 2:9-11). If you are faithful in loving your neighbor, you will not only live in the light, you will always give light to others.