Sunday, 25 September 2016
God is gracious.
He is merciful and forgiving.
But in The Parable of the Talents the last slave says, "'Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed'" Matthew 25:24b (NRSV)
For which he is harshly punished - which rather defeats the purpose of the parable - which is that God is gracious and merciful.
We should not fear God's punishment as we have been traditionally taught.
God is not fearsome.
Jesus taught us to love God.
You cannot love someone that you fear.
So, far from the image of God as a harsh and vindictive judge, we should adopt Jesus' image of God as a loving and gracious Father.
[Scripture quotations (marked NRSV) are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission. All rights reserved.]
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