Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Larry Pray

Friday, November 14

God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” He said further, “This you shall say to the Israelites. 'I AM has sent me to you.’”
—Exodus 3:14

The word agency sounds like a bureaucracy, an organization, or a governmental institution. It scarcely sounds like a leading cause of life.

But agency is all about doing. In life things happen. In life we make things happen. When things happen to us we react. Perhaps it is the weather, perhaps it is the economy, perhaps it is an illness, perhaps it is a crisis, or perhaps it is a celebration. In each case we do something. Even if we are disabled and lose the capacity to do, we still have the capacity to think, to imagine, or to dream, which are also parts of agency. Our capacity to act is an inherent part of life.

It is also an inherent part of God.

When Moses wonders how he will describe his encounter with God to others, he asks for God's name.

Were you to ask me for my name, the answer I would give you is a noun. We all learned in elementary school that a person, place or thing, is a noun. Larry is a noun. So is the name of my wife, Connie. You are also a noun. So are your neighbors.

But when God speaks God's name we are no longer in the realm of nouns. Instead, the divine name comes to us as a verb. I AM is a verb. I AM is a word of action. I AM moves. I AM does. I AM acts. I AM reacts. I AM creates. I AM destroys. I AM is always on the go.

Sometimes, in our prayers, we ask God to do something without realizing the God of life is already at work. It is useful in our prayers to ask what God is doing in our lives, in the world, and in the course of history itself. Like Moses, we may be surprised at the answer. Today let us be assured that whatever our faith, I AM is at work.

God of life, we know you are at work. Grant us a glimpse of what you are doing and remind us that we are part of your ever-changing, ever-unfolding creation. In Jesus' Name, Amen.