I Am

“The year may change, but God stays the same.”

My mind raced to the back of the sanctuary in my home church during my youth

as I passed the small church which had that phrase on its marquee board.

God doesn’t change.

That mindset.

I used to believe that.

Growing up, I would look at the big, black letters at the back of the sanctuary

and find such comfort.

They read: “God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

My Type Oneness just loved the solidarity -

the surety of who God was and that He was never changing.

My black and white thinking loved knowing that I could be sure

God would always be this and never be that.

And I am made in the image of God - and I am to strive to be more like God.

I know what I stand for and who I am, therefore I won’t change -

I will continue to improve and have more fruit, but for the most part, I am who I am.

Funny...”I am who I am.”

That’s what God said referring to himself / herself.

Before, I took that as God is who He is & will not change.

That was how it was taught.

That’s why the church is going around plastering phrases like

“The year may change, but God stays the same.”

But, does God truly stay the same?

In the sense that we think?

Never starting over, making new rules or guidelines?

What about the Gentiles and many foods being unclean -

and now God calls them clean?

What about God saying He will destroy a nation and Moses changing his mind?

What about when He endorsed slavery and gave guidelines for it -

and now we say slavery is a sin?

What about divorce? Or remarrying?

What about God being called Love and Peacemaker,

but is also seen brutally murdering priests of other religions

or whole nations at a time - men, women, and children?

Maybe...maybe God does change.

Or at the very least, our understanding of God changes.

Saying that God never changes means that my understanding

and perception of God will not move.

I am not open to it changing.

But, people change.

Society changes.

It progresses and evolves.

We understand more, we grow, we see what we didn’t see before.

Maybe there are aspects of God that we are missing

because we’ve put God in a box of who we think He is

and that He will never change, He will always stay there.

For me...I have changed.

God has changed.

God is no longer so black or white.

This or that.

Us or them.

God isn’t so defined.

And I realize now God was never meant to be.

When Moses asked for God’s name, the response he received was,

“I am.”

No definitive parameters, no specific characteristics.

Just am-ness.

God exists.

God is a presence - an energy - a force.

That’s all the foundation we get.

And that is perfect - that is enough.

-Elizabeth Kier

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