The Daily Office | March 18, 2018
Psalms 90, 91, 92
Psalms 93, 94
Collect: Ash Wednesday
Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made, and you forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Collect: The Fifth Sunday in Lent
Almighty God, you alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners: Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise; that, among the swift and varied changes of this world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
The Old Testament reading this morning is a pivotal passage in Scripture. God “remembers” (this is a theologically loaded word which means that God acts, or is about to act, on behalf of his covenantal relationship) his people in Egypt and then calls Moses to act as his ambassador from a burning bush on a mountain. Perhaps the most outstanding event in these verses, though, is the revelation of the divine name: I am that I am, or I will be who I will be.
There are several things that are worth noting in God giving his name. One significant element is that the ancient world had a superstition that anyone who knew a God’s true name could control his power – a myth that survives still in the tale of Rumplestiltskin. So, by God revealing his personal name to Moses, and all of Israel, God reveals his total supremacy over any other power. Yet there is significance in the name itself. “I will be who I will be” is a proclamation as well as a name. God is telling Moses and all of Israel that they are going to see him at work and, as a result, will know him in his acts of salvation for them.
This may be the first time that God revealed himself as such to his people. But in what soon followed there was every reason for them to remember God’s acts for them as he remembered his covenant with them.
We too have the privilege of seeing God’s action throughout Scripture and in our lives. He is the God who saves. As you pray today, reflect on God’s work in your own life. Reflect on the humble life of Christ, who lived to die and to rise for you. Reflect on the guidance which the Spirit has given you. Reflect on the constancy of the love of the Father as he works to bring his creation back to him.