Hi, watch me feel really really defensive of my faith.
It also reminded me of L. saying all men are manipulative assholes -- which is true of her experiences with men but not of mine.
So rather than just griping, let me sketch out some of why I love this Story so much.
God created the world and declared it good. God said, "let us make humanity in our image, according to our likeness." Every single one of us is beloved of God, God who has known us since before we were air-breathers (Psalm 139).
God is a God of the underdog. God hears God's people crying out. God lifts God's people out of bondage. God mourns when God's people turn away from God.
God spoke to God's people throughout history.
God Incarnated, came and met humanity in the flesh.
We commemorate our communion with God and with each other with sacred meals.
Jesus was resurrected, body and soul. After the Road to Emmaus, Jesus' friends recognized Jesus in the sharing of a meal. Throughout his ministry, Jesus touched people and healed them of physical ailments and forgave their sins and sat down to meals with them -- people of all sorts.
We look forward to the redemption of all creation.
We are an embodied, beloved, blessed people.
On the seventh day of Creation, God rested. At times, Jesus went off to be alone. We have canonical models which tell us that we should not work 24/7.
Jesus also asked his friends to pray with him as he approached the hour of his death. We have strong models of community.
Creation is so rooted in breath and Word. God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. The Tetragrammaton (YHWH) sounds like breath. The first human was created from the earth and God inbreathed. The Christian church was born when the Holy Spirit descended upon the early disciples and those gathered all heard the Good News in their native tongue.
Abraham argued with God to not destroy the city of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18:16-33). There is a midrash that when God commanded Abraham to sacrifice Isaac that God had wanted Abraham to argue then, too. We argue with God. God holds us to a high standard (and also extends us grace and mercy, streams which will never dry up) and we too remind God of the importance of justice and mercy.
"What does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" (Micah 6:8)
We are called to love everyone.
"You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt." (Exodus 22:21)
Jacob wrestled with the Angel and was renamed "Israel," a people who struggle with God and live.
This brain-dump isn't holding together as well as I had hoped. Let me sum up.
I believe in a God who loves me, who loves all of Creation, who meets me in the silence of my heart, in the whirlwind of my anger and frustration, in the belly of the great fish, in the sharing of bread and drink with friends and with strangers.