Tuesday, 17 June 2014

I Am (Not)

We are a people of memory.

Indeed, the moment you spent in reading each word in this sentence has become a memory. You may go back and read the same words again, but that unique moment when you read those words is now a memory. Our entire lives are a memory, formed by every movement, encounter and moment.

Perhaps this is why God alone is called 'I AM'.

You are you for sure. You exist in the sense that others can be hear/see/smell/touch and encounter you in some way. You are a part of this material world, created from the dust of the earth, formed in your mothers womb, born into an uncertain world.

Yet can any of us ever say 'I am...', for to say 'I am' is to say that you exist wholly in the present, no longer determined by memory. Perhaps the best any of us can do is to say 'I was...' for the moments that define us will always be memories.

That is not to say that who we are is in any way diminished or insignificant, it is simply to highlight how significant memory is in the reality of our existence.

Yet God does not exist like us.

God is not formed by time or memory and so is not shaped or determined by each moment.

Whilst humanity can never be fully present in the 'now' because each and every 'now' is another memory, God is fully present now, not in any way contingent to time.

God is I AM.

So when Jesus says 'I am...' he is declaring that he is not determined by 'moment' and 'memory' but that moment and memory is determined by him. His calling of all people to know him in relationship is to beckon us into an existence that is shaped by his 'I am-ness'.

Each moment in our lives will continue to be a memory, but because God 'Was, Is and is Yet To Come' our entire lives now are invited to be shaped and wrapped up in His Life, shaped by the Spirit, no longer simply existing in light of memory but living as recipients of His 'nowness', otherwise known as Resurrection.

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