“The way Jesus tried to change people was by loving and healing them, accusing only their accusers…
“His harshest words of judgment were reserved for those who perpetuated systems of inequality and oppression and who, through religion itself, thought they were sinless and untouchable.
“Jesus did not so much love people once they changed, but he loved people so that they could change.”
~ Richard Rohr
“More than any other word pictures, God chose ‘children’ and ‘lovers’ to describe our relationship with him as being intimate and personal. The Old Testament abounds with husband-bride imagery. God woos his people and dotes on them like a lover doting on his beloved.
When they ignore him, he feels hurt, spurned, like a jilted lover. Shifting metaphors generationally, it also announces that we are God’s children. In other words, the closest we can come to understanding how God looks upon us is by thinking about the people who mean most to us: our own child, our lover.
“Think of a doting parent with a video camera, coaxing his year-old daughter to let go of the living room coffee table and take three steps toward him. ‘Come on, sweetie, you can do it! Just let go. Daddy’s here. Come on.’ Think of a love-struck teenager with her phone permanently attached to her ear, reviewing every second of her day with a boy who is himself infatuated enough to be interested.
“Think of those two scenes and then imagine God on one end and you on the other. That is the message of the Old Testament.”