Day nine of the Bible Challenge. I keep worrying that people are freaking out when they actually read Genesis. Several times I have heard good church-going Episcopalians say, “I don’t like the God of the Old Testament.” And it’s easy to see why. Asking Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. Bargaining with Abraham about how many people of Sodom he will allow to live. Then there are the people of the Old Testament. How can such a holy book contain so many morally questionable and reprehensible stories as Abram telling Pharoah’s people that Sarai is his sister, so Pharoah can sleep with her and then deal kindly with Abram. Or Sarai suggesting that Abram sleep with Hagar to produce an heir, but then after Sarah bears her own son, casts out Hagar and Ishmael to the outer darkness. What about Lot’s daughters getting their father drunk to sleep with him so there will be descendants? Yuck! Or circumcising adult males for that matter? Ouch! I cringe as I read that and we’re not even half way through Genesis. I have to remind myself that this holy book has shaped faith communities for centuries, that humans have always been well… corruptible and troubled. That the God of the Old Testament loves us anyway, craves to stay in our lives when we go wandering and philandering. The God of the Old Testament creates a covenant with us and doesn’t give up on us even when we break the covenant. That sounds like a holy book.