How has this been accomplished? It's sometimes occurred because someone has created a world changing invention; or by being the leader of an important or influential political movement; or by rising to become a successful military leader. In these cases, the name of a famous person is inscribed in stone, or an image is set in metal statuary to be venerated across many years, even centuries. But inscriptions and statues eventually disappear from the landscape. They become forgotten in lieu of others who are at least equally, or even more famous.
Compared to any plaque or statue, the name of our Lord continues to far eclipse any of the most memorable, longest lasting heroes of any age. Why is this? In part, God is not so much remembered through stone or metal, rather carried forward through time via a living memory shared by hearts and minds of those who believe, even beyond any idol we create for God. In this way, the divine nature of God identified through the name, “I am who I am,” reverberates through time.
Like Moses, wherever we might find ourselves, in a church building, at home, outdoors …encountering God feels like the same metaphorical place… holy ground. In thinking about “taking off my shoes,” to draw close to God in such a space, I easily become aware of how I will likely not be remembered as a unique individual. This comes by connecting with Moses’ answer to God’s imperative, “So now, go…” Moses' weak, very human reply is, “Who am I?” God’s answer was simply, “I will be with you.”
Although Moses faced questions and challenges which remained to be asked of him by the Pharaoh on one hand and the Israelites on the other, simply pointing to the living name of God was… and still is, enough.
It’s not about how Moses could have attached his acclaim etched upon some monument.
It’s more about how he was dispatched to proclaim God’s name from the mountaintop,
“'The Lord, the God of your fathers – the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, -- has sent me to you.' This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation.”
Rev. Richard Wagner