“Here I Am”

Sunday, August 31

8-31By Lu Mountenay of Independence, Missouri, USA

There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. …God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then (God) said, “Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.”…Moses said to God, “If I come to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I am who I am.”

—Exodus 3:2, 4–5, 13–14, NRSV adapted

Entering the Worshiper’s Path at the Temple in Independence, Missouri, one of the first artworks is a three-layered tapestry of the burning bush. The artist, Linda Henke, entitled it, “I Will Be Who I Will Be.” As you would expect, she made it with bright oranges and reds, warm and hot colors overlaying the strong, black silhouette of the bush, which stands firmly, unconsumed by the flame.

Before Linda created this work of art, she came to see the place where it would hang. She immediately took off her shoes in reverence of the place she sensed as holy. She looks back on her work today and shares this:

One of my favorite scripture texts, the Exodus 3 account of Moses’ encounter with God in the burning bush, inspired this design. In a response to Moses’ inquiry about how God wishes to be known, God responds in what typically is translated as “I Am Who I Am.” I, however, prefer the Hebrew translation of “I Will Be Who I Will Be.” For me, the difference between the two is significant and powerful. Humankind will not limit God by its perceptions of who God was, is, or yet shall be. God’s identity will be determined by the endless possibilities of the divine will as it unfolds over time. The quest is to discern how God is seeking to be known in our world.

Shortly after hanging the tapestry at the path’s entrance, a gathering of international leaders held a worship service in the Temple Sanctuary. As the first worshipers entered the path, they responded to the image of the burning bush by spontaneously removing their shoes. They left their shoes at the foot of the path, and everyone who followed that day did the same.

How do we respond when we sense we are in sacred space or on holy ground? When God reveals God’s self to you, will you answer, “Here I am”?

Prayer for Peace God of the mountain, God of the earth at our bare feet, we are ready to know you.

Spiritual Practice: Many Names of God Pray or sing each name several times as you call on the God of many names: Yahweh, Adonai, Jehovah, Yeshua, Sophia, Allah, Alpha, Omega, Abba, I Will Be Who I Will Be.

Peace Covenant Today, Creator, I will walk on your holy Earth with reverence.

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1 Comment

  1. Nancy

     /  31 August 2014

    Yes, the earth is holy place because God made it for man and we should treat it with reverence.

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