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Summary: A short (1 pg!) reflection on God’s Holy Name. This is part of a praise service

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Title: Short Reflection on the Divine Name

Text: Exodus 3:13-15

We all know that names, especially in Bible times, took on amazing significance. So, this week, when I was study Moses’ encounter with God, I started wondering, why is it that God chose to give himself the name that he did.

Think about it for a moment – most gods you hear about had names that said something about what they did. Thor and thunder are the same word. Bacchus is all about wine. Even the prophets had names that said something about themselves. Israel means, ‘I struggle with God.’ Zechariah says, ‘The Lord has remembered.’ Daniel says, ‘God is my strength.’ And even Jesus was given a name that said what he did – Yeshua – God delivers. God saves.

But God’s name is something else altogether. When asked, ‘Who are you? What is your name?’ God replied simply, ‘I am who I am.’

Now, unless God was trying to say that he’s Popeye the sailor man, that name is hard to figure out. I mean what does it say that he does? Frankly it doesn’t. It simply says, ‘I am.’

But you know what? When Rachel falls down and scrapes her knee, she doesn’t need to know that her daddy is ‘master of bandages.’ She just needs to know, I’m here for you.

And when life is changing all around us, when nothing is secure, it is a comfort to know that God is still God. He hasn’t left me, he hasn’t forsaken me. From morning until morning, he is the same. There is no shadow of turning with him. He simply is who he is. There is no pretense, there is no conforming to social expectation of what God is supposed to be, he simply is who he is. We already know who he is. He just is who he has always been.

But perhaps, most importantly and most comforting of all is this. God is God. It’s comforting to know that he is God and I am not. I don’t have to worry about ordering my world, making sure that everything is in place, because God is God. I know it sounds like a tautology – you know one of those sentences like ‘Red is Red,’ but there is great power in knowing that God is God. It means simply that I don’t have to pretend like I am. God’s a lot better at being God than I ever can hope to be. That means I can let him be God, and I don’t have to worry. He is who he is. Praise God.

Long Branch Baptist Church

Halfway, Virginia; est. 1786

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Enter to Worship

Prelude David Witt

Invocation Psalm 100

*Opening Hymn #2

“Come Thou Almighty King”

Welcome & Announcements

*Offertory Hymn #10

“Praise to the Lord, the Almighty”

Offertory Mr. Witt

*Doxology

*Responsive Reading #1 (Forgiveness) [See Right]

Songs of Confession and Forgiveness

Prayer & Meditation

*Responsive Reading #2 (Supplication) [See Right]

Songs of Supplication

Prayer

Scripture (Exodus 3:13-15) & Short Reflection

*Responsive Reading #3 (Praise) [See Right]

Songs of Praise

Closing Hymn “It is Well with My Soul” #339

Closing Prayer

Benediction

Congregational Response

May the grace of Christ of Savior / And the Father’s boundless love

With the Holy Spirit’s favor / Rest upon us from above. Amen.

* Congregation, please stand.

Depart To Serve

RESPONSIVE READING #1

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love;

according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.

Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.

Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight,

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.

Cast me not away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.

RESPONSIVE READING #2

Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.

For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake?

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

REFLECTION TEXT

But Moses said to God, “If I come to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?”

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