Pastor's Blog

I Am Who I Am

I Am Who I Am

Pastor Adrienne - March 11, 2024

The Saturday before last we had Story Day. Story Day is offered for our second graders who are ready to receive instruction to take their First Communion. The day is designed to introduce how the Passover came to be and how it connects to Jesus’ passion and the Sacrament of Holy Communion.

On a Saturday morning, we introduced Moses, the deliverer of God’s people. This year, our very own Tech Director, Bill Porter, was our Moses, and he did a great job leading the large group through the story of the Exodus! Dressed in good century BC clothing and large wooden staff in hand, he led us, the people Israel, out of slavery and past the Red Sea.

It was an awesome day filled with holy moments. One such great moment was when we came to the burning bush. We entered the pitch-black fellowship hall and waited to hear how God called Moses to the monumental task ahead. One of our decorative plants was covered with lights and used on stage. Lit up and mic-ed with the voice of God, we witnessed the conversation between God and Moses.

We heard that an angel of the LORD appeared in flames of fire from within a bush. Curious as to why it was not consumed, Moses approached it, and the LORD told him to take off his shoes for he was on holy ground. The LORD tells him that He has heard the cries of the people in slavery, and that He will rescue them. When Moses asks why him, the LORD tells him that He will be with him. Then, Moses asks,

“Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”

14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.[c] This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”

This is one of my favorite statements in the Bible. It is among my tops with many of Jesus’ comforting words like when he tells Mary in John 11:25, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.” Or in John 14 when he tells his disciples to “not let their hearts be troubled.” Those are words to hold onto. I certainly do love so many words of Jesus, the speaking and breathing Word of God.

Jesus embodies this powerful statement of God, in more than one way. Without commentaries or interpretations, it is a beautiful declaration of God’s being. It is unapologetic. It is self-validating. It is pure freedom. “I am who I am” is to say, “Accept me for who I am because I do.” The fact that “I AM” is more than enough.

There is a point to where we can only be ourselves. We cannot be anybody else. Oscar Wilde once said, “Be yourself. Everybody else is taken.” In psychologizing this identification that God makes, there is no one like God, and God made it so that there is no one like you. The fire that God puts within us differs into how it burns in the world. I don’t think God wants us to be like anyone except like Christ.

Of course, there are commentaries and interpretations to shed light on this declaration in a theological sense. When God says, “I AM WHO I AM,” God is not just stating God’s existence, but declaring God’s presence with Israel. God is saying, “I AM PRESENT with you” and is present in love. It is to say, I am with you.

In this Lenten Season, we are reminded of how present God is with us in his Son, Jesus Christ. In our form, walking with us while on his way to the cross, Jesus embodies the unapologetic and authentic grace of God. This Word is always with us urging us forward to greater truth in the world and in ourselves.