This is a reflection that comes from my sermon for this coming Sunday…think of it as a teaser for what is to come.
Frederick Buechner writes, “Buechner is my name. It is pronounced Beek-ner. If somebody mispronounces it in some foolish way, I have the feeling that what’s foolish is me. If somebody forgets it, I feel that it’s I who am forgotten. There’s something about it that embarrasses me in just the same way that there’s something about me that embarrasses me. I can’t imagine myself with any other name Held, say, or Merrill, or Hlavacek. If my name were different, I would be different. When I tell you my name, I have given you a hold over me that you didn’t have before. If you call it out, I stop, look, and listen whether I want to or not. In the book of Exodus, God tells Moses that his name is Yahweh, and God hasn’t had a peaceful moment since.” (http://www.frederickbuechner.com/quote-of-the-day/2016/11/29/buechner)
Right now I am preaching a sermon series on The Apostles Creed and we begin this week by talking about God. God the Almighty, God the creator, God the lover, and God the very being of everything.
In Exodus 3 God tells Moses “I am who I am” when asked what his name is (Exodus 3:13-14). This name in Hebrew notated as YHWH. The Israelites believed this to be the most sacred name of God, only to be used by priests in certain situations. Lay folk used nouns such as Lord or Jehovah to express the word instead of saying the name itself.
I believe Buechner is on to something in his discussion on names. There is a reason Moses received the name of God and there is a reason God tells Moses to tell the people of Israel. I think it is because God wanted that level of relationship with us. That God loves us so deeply that the most sacred part of God is revealed to Moses and Moses is called to reveal it to us. In God’s name is revealed the very being of God, that is why God’s name is a play on the Hebrew Word “to be.” Because God is the source of being in all creation.
What is your relationship with God like? God created you and formed you how do you honor that relationship, and how do you live in that relationship?