If you live in America and/or aren’t living under a rock, you know that last week was rife with tragedy. From the Boston bombing to the West explosion, things were chaotic, and people were heartbroken, fearful and confused. It was encouraging to see our church do what the Church does — we responded with help for West and prayer for Boston.
On Sunday morning this last week, we began our service with a time of prayer. All across the auditorium people were gathered in twos and threes, interceding for all the brokenhearted, fearful and afflicted.
I sat there and I prayed with my friends, and my heart was heavy with the weight of the pain that was close enough to home to feel deeply. And in that moment, I felt like God said, “Remember that I am who I am.”
I was reminded of Moses’ first encounter with God at the burning bush (Exodus 3). It says that God says he sees the affliction of his people. He has heard their cry and he knows their suffering, and he has come to deliver them out of the hands of their enemies. Moses asks a valid question after God gives him a charge to lead his people — he says, “God, who do I tell these people that you are?” The answer is kind of strange — He says just tell them that I AM. I AM who I AM.
It’s only three letters that make up two words, but somehow it can change everything in just one moment.
Am. It’s the present tense of the verb “to be.” To exist.
So in this moment, God tells Moses, “I am real. I exist. I am here. Present. Right now.” I AM. Not I was, or I will be, or I might have been.
He is power that’s for now.
Suddenly every present moment becomes holy. And at the thought of this, right there in the fourth row at church, I take off my shoes. I AM is here. This is holy ground.