God says to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites:‘I am has sent me to you.” – Exodus 3:14 (NIV)
This radical present tense of God’s self-definition might help us get through CovidTide. God is not in the past or in the future but in the here/now.
Others offer a more futurist translation of God’s name: “I will be what tomorrow demands.” (In Hebrew original, Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh). God is living, as in alive. Not finished but becoming.
The work of Bricks and Mortals in the NYC area involves the adaptation and simultaneous preservation of sacred sites. It might start and end in Exodus 3:14. There is really no such thing as this minute or second; it is always becoming the next. We want to live in the moment, but some of that enjoyment is to know it’s flying by while we aren’t looking. I like to tell people that I got old while I wasn’t looking.
We would love to preserve the youthful beauty of our buildings. That means letting them change. Our mantra in Bricks and Mortals is: “We want the buildings to live to pray another day, anotherway.” We are who we are becoming.
I am sent us. I will be what tomorrow demands sent us. Change is the only constant. Fluidity is the only rock of ages. I do love that old hymn about the rock of ages being cleft for me. I love the word cleft, that solid rock on which we stand while all other ground is sinking sand. I love being cleft while shifting.
Dear God, you know my cat Rip van Twinkle, right? Help me to be more like her. Every time I wake up from a nap, remind me of you. Send me back to the future. Amen.
Donna Schaper is Pastor at the Orient Congregational Church on the far end of Long Island, New York. Her newest book is Remove the Pews: Spiritual Possibilities for Sacred Spaces, from The Pilgrim Press.