"Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction." Blaise Pascal
"Sinners and saints, priests and kings
Are we just using God for our own gain
What’s in a name
Open your eyes" Karin Bergquist
It's interesting how often I find myself not believing in the god that is so often spoken of in the world today. The way he is presented and spoke of makes Him look, sound, and act very closely to that which we see in alienated humanity. Sometimes even worse. What I thought I knew and what I had lived much of my life believing about the person Jesus referred to as father has been taken a part. It feels really good today.
We are more loved than we can even begin to fathom. Why do so many live with such fear of the one that chose to step into the mess we have made through our freedom of choice, to speak such wonderful words like "Don't be afraid?" If God is love and that love is unconditional, patient, and kind, why have we made him out to be a highly unpredictable character who more closely resembles earthly fathers...and mothers?
The character Jesus describes as the father in the parable of the prodigal son just doesn't seem to me to fit into the image so often presented by the world's religions. Jesus used several other familiar images to paint other pictures for us that seem to be as different also.
If Love is patient, and love is kind. If it does not envy or boast, and it is not proud. If it is not rude, self-seeking, easily angered, and if it keeps no record of wrongs. And if Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth and it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres, why do we make God something other than this?
I know we humans struggle with loving this way, but for goodness gracious let us stop speaking of and thinking of our father in ways that presents him to the world as someone he is not.
HE LOVES US and if he did so even in our state of alienation before Jesus' death and resurrection that changed everything....how much more so is his grace and love poured out and extended to us all? I know better of my father than how I hear him so often spoken about today and I am learning to live in that love and I am finding there is no room for fear in this place. Prefect love casts out all fear.
Thank you father.