Rowan, Bishop of Playing, has posted a great homily on the Beatitudes today on FaceBook. He adapts these verses to include those we love and those with whom we live - our beloved dogs and cats. What a joy to think that those non-humans in our household are also beloved of God! Sometimes we forget that God loves all of creation and not just "good" humans. God looked at creation and said, "It is good." All of it, all of us, all of them (whoever them might be). Creation is good.
To me, the story of the fall is an allegory that tries to explain why bad things happen to good people - very inadequately explain. I don't know why everything is not all good. I don't know why natural disasters happen (other than the scientific explanation). I don't know why violence and murders happen. But, the Fall is not a good enough explanation for me. However, I don't need to know why those things happen. What I need to know is that God found all of creation to be good.
Blessed is creation, a song of praise for the maker! We cry out, "Bless God's holy name!"
The Beatitudes makes all sorts of promises to people. Promises that most of us interpret to be foretelling of the future - after we are dead, after judgment - but the truth is that all are blessed, all receive the promise - and that promise is that God is with us. Immanuel.
Okay. I admit that I pick and choose in the Bible. I discard some ideas and eagerly adopt others. So do we all. And, some of my ideas about God didn't come from the Bible at all, but came from life experiences, from other reading, from "gut" reactions, from dreams, from visions, from conversations. God is among us, and we only have to open our ears and our hearts to know God.
Blessed is creation!