They say Jesus was a friend of sinners, but he didn’t describe himself that way. His motto wasn’t “eating and drinking with prostitutes and tax collectors.” Those were the labels used by the religious community, by the disapproving onlookers. What’s amazing about Jesus is that when he hung out with sinners, he didn’t act like they were sinners. They were just his friends. People with names. Defined as beloved children of the Creator, not defined by their sins. Icons of God’s image. His brothers and sisters.
It was the Pharisees who looked at them and scrawled “sinner” on their foreheads. It was the accusers who drew circles in the sand with themselves on the inside and “those sinners” on the outside.
– See more at: http://redemptionpictures.com/2013/06/20/i-cant-say-love-the-sinner-hate-the-sin-anymore/#sthash.mEbCXAtP.dpuf
— Micah J. Murray
I love this quote from Francis Spufford:
The harms that Christianity has done throughout its history are obvious — in some cases they’re now the only thing people can see — and if you try to deny them, or to minimize them, or to make your stand for Christianity’s value on a squeaky-clean artificial version of its record, then you’re engaging in the maintenance of a cozy bubble-world. And Christianity pops bubbles. Its power lies in its realism. It acknowledges suffering, squalor and cruelty, including the suffering and squalor and cruelty caused by us Christians ourselves and our churches; it demands that we give those things their full weight of sorrow and culpability, and only then does it insist that the story isn’t over, that there is more to say. After Good Friday comes Easter Sunday. But you can’t fast forward through the ugliness. Clergy child abuse, zealous violence, homophobia, anti-Semitism: they’re all to be confessed, not excused. Whether people forgive us for them is up to them. We don’t get to demand forgiveness, or to hurry the conversation along to things we’re prouder of.
I definitely have to check out his book, Unapologetic.
A Rabbi came to the prophet Elijah and asked, “Tell me, when will the Messiah come?” The reply, “Go ask him yourself,” surprised the Rabbi. “Where is he?” he asked. “He’s sitting at the gates of the city,” Elijah said. “But how will I know which one he is?” the Rabbi inquired.
“He is sitting among the poor, covered with wounds. The others unbind all of their wounds all at one time and then bind them up again; but he unbinds his wounds one at a time and then binds that wound up again. He says to himself, ‘Perhaps I shall be needed and I must always be ready.'”
–Henri Nouwen (via Molly Baskette)