Thursday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 392


Then he added, "This is what you shall tell the children of Israel: I AM sent me to you." God spoke further to Moses, "Thus shall you say to the children of Israel: The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. "This is my name forever; this my title for all generations.

A child's first word is "Momma." The simple sound of m and ah, created by pursing the lips and shaping a breath, thrills the infant's mother. If the baby is her first she has a new identity, one she had hardly dared to dream of or expect. Though she cannot be unfamiliar with the word, it is entirely new when it's mouthed by a new born baby.
The baby's word is a new identity for the new mother. Regardless of titles ahead of her name, or degrees fastened at the end; regardless of whatever she was called by her parents, friends, enemies or government, the one that matters to the child and to her is "Momma." 
In Exodus 3 the Lord reveals his name to us. That is, he reveals the name by which we shall call him. It is not an abstract concept  like god, which might prove useful for the classroom or theological debate. It is a sacred name by which we enter the unfathomable mystery of God's presence, entering freely and without hesitation, as a child runs into his mother's room crying, "Momma, Momma, Momma!" 
It is a privileged name, given to a particular people. Not every child in the neighborhood can call this woman, "Momma." They have their own parents. Likewise not anyone can call on the God of our fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob unless they have been adopted or born into the family. 
"This is my name forever; this my title for all generations.
Like the proud new mother, the Lord boasts of his name and would be called by this name "for all generations," precisely because the Lord is proud of his people. 
so I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, to be my people, my fame, my praise, my glory

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I love to write. This blog helps me to meditate on the Word of God, and I hope to make some contribution to our contemplations of God's Mighty Works.

Ordinarily, I write these reflections two or three weeks in advance of their publication. I do not intend to comment on current events.

I understand many people prefer gender-neutral references to "God." I don't disagree with them but find that language impersonal, unappealing and tasteless. When I refer to "God" I think of the One whom Jesus called "Abba" and "Father", and I would not attempt to improve on Jesus' language.

You're welcome to add a thought or raise a question.