Does God hate anyone? A Jesuit priest, Fr. Tom Weston, often said in recovery retreats I attended, “We create God in our own image, and he loves who we love and hates who we hate.”
Again this week, I veer off the British Isles travelogue to address a current issue. I frequently post pictures on Facebook because I’m a visual learner and I believe a good picture says more than words. The above photo had words, too, and it elicited some reactions this week which caused some deep thoughts for me.
Searched the Scriptures
During my quiet time this morning, the reaction to this photo sent me to my digital Bible, and I searched the Scriptures and found answers like I always do.
“How long will you defend the unjust and show partiality to the wicked? Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” (Psalms 82:2–4 NIV) These words should direct my actions in this world today.
Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 NIV), so I see an invitation to any weary traveler.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:16, 17 NIV) My Jesus has a world view, the whole world, not excluding anyone.
St. Paul wrote, “Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too,” (Romans 3:29 NIV)
“The term refers to a person who is not a Jew.”https://www.gotquestions.org/what-is-a-Gentile.html
So, my God is for all men and women.
Look at the Text on the Photo
“Jesus wasn’t neutral. He sided with the poor, sick & immigrant. Be like Jesus” posted on a church board.
My Jesus is not neutral on what many call social issues today. He loves the poor, the sinner, the immigrant. If that is political, then my suggestion is choose the side that “DWJWD” (do what Jesus would do). It shouldn’t be a political issue–it should be a person helping person issue.
“He sided with the poor, sick & immigrant.” The Scriptures above confirm that, and many today active in social action reach out to these three entities.
“Be like Jesus.” Quite a daunting task in this twenty-first century, but I must try!
My Higher Power
As a person in recovery, “my Higher Power” or “the God of my understanding” is a loving God, and to me his name is Jesus. I love the imagery of a shepherd and sheep–probably from my ranching background. The idea that my Jesus cares for me the way my cowboy Dad cared for his calves is precious!
My Jesus hates no one and invites all to His feast. God, the Father, hates no one—He hates sin.
My Jesus was a rebel in his time, ignoring what it meant to be politically correct and got in the face of those in power in the Jewish world. He rebuked the Pharisees. He questioned the establishment and hung out with notorious sinners.
My Jesus has open arms, embracing anyone in need whether they are on the border of the United States, living desperate lives on the streets of many of our cities or monetarily comfortable but living a life in quiet desperate.
Each political party says God is on their side, but really? My God doesn’t hate Republicans or Democrats or Independents or Green Party people. I think he applauds honest involvement focused in his goals: serving the poor, the needy and the immigrant.
My Father God especially doesn’t hate brown people—He sent His Only Son as a brown man.
If My Jesus Were at the Border Today
If my Jesus were at the southern border of the USA today, would He support snakes and alligators as a deterrent? Would He support separating a crying eight-month-old baby girl from her loving scared mother? Or would my Jesus be detained and imprisoned?
My Jesus had brown skin and long cobalt black hair with no possessions. His body smelled of sweat, dirt and grime. His calloused sore feet, caked with mud from his travels, needed the care of Mary Magdalene, her loving touch and her oils.
If the border patrol stopped Him, His searing stare would say, “I’m a man of this world—I claim no country. The world Is my home!”
Yes, I know this photo has political overtones, but it’s time I face that head on. It is my duty as a God-fearing Christian to stand up for what I believe my God meant in the Scriptures. This controversy became religious when many like those who responded to my Facebook page twist and turn everything to support their political views!
When a Pharisee asked Jesus, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22: 36-40 NIV)
I must not be neutral. I must love the poor, sick & immigrant. And if I do this, I will be like Jesus. How can you argue with that?
I encourage your thoughts!
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