March 19th Reflection

Exodus 3: "I Will Be What I Will Be"

One of the most recognized images we have from our scripture is that of Moses before the burning bush.  The Exodus story itself is the central story of the Jewish faith and, therefore, one of considerable importance to us as Christians.  The Gospel writer of our first Gospel account we call "Matthew" wover the image of Moses throughout the Gospel account to communicate a great deal about Jesus' identity through the Exodus narrative.

The beginning of the Exodus story occurs when Moses encounters God.  During this encounter, Moses is called to go (back) to Egypt and confront the oppressive system under the leadership of the Pharaoh (king).  He is called to go and free the people Israel and lead them back to the mountain (Sinai) of the burning bush (sinay) to worship God.  Moses had been an adopted son of a Pharaoh in Egypt.  He abandoned his life after he made an attempt to alleviate the suffering of his people Israel through the violent act of murdering an Egyptian.  He had left his home and gone to Midian to be a shepherd.  Moses' life was one he most likely considered to be full of shame, regret, and failure.  And here was God asking him to go and be his representative for Israel before Pharoah.  Needless to say, Moses was not feeling up for the task.  He doubted that he could have what it takes to be a blessing for his people.

In his attempt to decline the calling, he at one point asks for the name of the divine power that was speaking to him and calling him to go.  The divine being (God) responded with a word which has been enigmatic for many throughout the thousands of years of our Abrahamic faith.  Many times we see the name translated as "I Am."  Another way to translate and interpret this name is "I Will Be What I Will Be."  Considering the story that lie ahead of this burning bush moment, and all that God will be for the people Israel of that day--and all that God continues to be for the spiritual Israel (us) today--I find the latter translation to be a more preferred way to understand the divine identity.

We see God becoming all things in response to the covenant love we were promised so long ago.  Through Moses' embrace of his calling, the Israelites DID make it out of Egypt and to the mountain (Sinai) and enter into a new relationship with God, to be God's people.  Here we are as descendants of that steadfast love which has never waivered.  It never will waiver.  We serve (ev-ed) a good God who enters our own story in the ways we need.  God will be what God will be for the sake of the love which knows no boundaries.  This is our good news put on full display by Jesus Christ, the new Moses, who came to show us the way out of a way of life that brings destruction, chaos, and meaninglessness.  Instead, we are shown the way of life that leads to life in its fullest--AND a life that cannot be destroyed by sin or death.

So what do you need God to be today?

Now...don't read that as "What do you want God to be," because we can do all sorts of unhealthy things with that kind of thinking.  Rather, what do we NEED God to be?







We find a great number of names given to God beyond the list above.  God has been there for Israel in a multitude of capacities in our history.

God is with you this day.  God is always waiting to connect with us.

​​​​​​​God is also calling you to be a source of blessing for others.

May we take a moment amidst our routines and schedules and worries and shames and regrets...

to notice the burning bushes in our life.  May we notice the little miracles all around us.

May we take a moment and look out into the rainy day and be thankful that the trees, grass, animals, and soil are getting the sustenance they need.

May we embrace the time we have with loved ones or with friends we can connect with via phone to allow God to bless us through the way we can be a blessing for one another.

In those moments when you wonder, "Can I be a blessing" just think back on Moses before the bush and know your capabilities are far beyond what you could ever imagine because God is with you...and God will be what God will be to work through you for the sake of bringing glory to the great (and continually inspiring) divine name.