So I’m wondering,
are you enjoying these stories?
We’re winding our way through what some call the Hebrew Patriarchs,
the big men of the first testament,
and yes, the stories center, perhaps unfortunately,
around the guys.
But I’ve been arguing that if we can get a bit past the anachronism,
that is, the fact that these stories are three thousand years old,
and if we can get past some of the patriarchy
that comes with stories that are that old,
I mean, just look at stories that are 50 years old,
much less three thousand years old tales..
If we can try to understand the point of these old stories
about the foundation of our faith:
the ancient promises of God to Abraham
and God’s steadfast love throughout all of
our human folly;
the shaking of tradition and conventional wisdom
the blessing of questions and doubt
we can come to understand that even these ancient stories
have some meaning for us.
Life giving meaning.
Today’s reading is no different in that regard.
All of these stories offer a worldview, a way of thinking about humanity
and about our relationship with the divine,
who created us—you and me,
with the divine Ruach, the divine breath
each of us with the image of God imprinted in us.
If there was ever any question in your heart whether you matter,
whether you are important,
whether you have a purpose,
well, there’s an answer:
these ancient stories affirm that we are created by God and are loved by God
and are destined, each of us,
to live fully the lives God wants for the creation,
lives marked by that Hebrew word Shalom,
which means some combination of peace
you know, where Lion will lay with the Lamb
and all will be fed
the whole bit.
One way to understand faith, and the diverse religious options out there,
is to see them as various ways of giving us a worldview,
a way to see and to live in the world.
And these ancient stories are the foundation of our worldview,
bequeathed to us, given to us by our Hebrew ancestors,
the forbears of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
So we’ve been walking through these ancient stories,
and we’ve been seeing how humanity, from our very beginning,
has demonstrated all the characteristics we might expect
from looking at our own living:
crazy jealousy, passionate yearning, family conflict,
and also the capacity for deep empathy,
incredible love. [Read more...]