Bread – Am

October 20, 2014


Readings for Monday, October 20, 2014, designated by the 1979 Book of Common Prayer: *; Rev. 7:1-8; Luke 9:51-62; Psalms 9,15,25

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In today’s readings from Scripture, we are confronted with the difference between “I will” and “I am.” This is always used in the context of what is going to happen next or is happening right now. For example, with respect to breakfast, we would say “I will eat breakfast [tomorrow]” or “I am eating breakfast [now].” The “am” is immediate; the “will” is future. When I am doing something in the present, I “am” doing it. When I intend to do something in the future, I “will” do it.

In our reading in Revelation today, the four angels are standing at the four corners, holding back the four winds. They “are” holding back the four winds from destroying the earth and the sea. Another angel tells them “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God …” Rev. 7:3. From this passage we understand that the four angels “will” release the winds and harm the earth, seas, and trees, but right now they “are” not doing so until an event occurs. Upon the occurrence of the event, the “will” changes to “am,” and then something happens.

In today’s reading from Luke, Jesus differentiates between those who ‘are” His from those who “will” be His. In doing this, He essentially says that there is no “will” in the kingdom; there is either “am” or nothing. The passage most clearly demonstrating this principle is “Yet another said, ‘I will follow You Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.’ Jesus said to him, ‘No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.’” Luke 9:61-62

As Christians, we live much of our lives in the “will” rather than the “am.” We “will” pray for our friends, rather than actually pray for them right then. We “will” worship on Sunday, rather than worship right now. We “will” give tomorrow rather than give today. Built into every “will” is some form of a condition … if I live, if I am able, if I want to, if I have to, if, if, if…. The “am” has no condition to it, because as soon as you say it you are doing it. With the “am” there is no difference between the future and the present, because the future is always the present. The “will” is a promise; the “am” is a fact.

Are we fit for the kingdom? How much of our attitude, our intent is “will”-driven as opposed to “am”-driven?

Do you love your neighbor as yourself? Is your answer “I will” or “I am?”

Do you love the Lord your God with all of your heart, mind, and soul? Is your answer “I will” or “I am?”

When God calls us in whatever way He does, is our tendency to say “I will once I get my affairs in order” or “I am in spite of my affairs being in disarray?”

The commitment God demands of us is now; we want to defer our response to the future.

God says that when we put it off, when we make it conditional, when we adopt the “I will” approach to Him, we are not fit for Him.

Think for a minute about how difficult it is to say “I am.” To say “I am” to God means that every bit our my agenda is out the window, everything I care about takes second fiddle, my wants and desires become irrelevant. If I am really going to say “I am” to God, it must be the absolute subjection of myself to my master. How difficult is this? It is impossible without the work of the Holy Spirit.

To proceed from “I will” to “I am” is nothing we accomplish on our own; it is impossible on our own. It can only be done by a power greater than us, by the one and only “I am” – God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

So if I have any chance of saying “I am” it is because “He is.”

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© 2014 GBF

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