In the academic art world, it used to be thought that Michelangelo portrayed God as subdued, dark and withdrawn. This was because his paintings were full of beiges, dark browns and ochres. But in more recent times, as the restorers got to work on the Sistine Chapel, cleaning away the impurities that over the centuries had impregnated Michelangelo’s frescos, they found that he had actually used the most brilliant colours in his original paintings. But the dirt and soot from centuries of candles burning in the chapel had darkened the colours and what they depicted.
I sometimes think that’s what organized religion has tended to do to God also – made God, who is the source of all love and light, seem dull and forbidding. That’s why we need to remember that Jesus is for us the true expression of the heart of God.