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Genesis 3:14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”

When the Creator sent freedom to his people, it was not in the past tense. Yahweh did not say, “Hey, y’all remember how we used to do it back in Canaan? Those were the good old days weren’t they? I’m the God of the way things used to be!”

Look through the sacred book all you want. You’ll never find God in the past tense. Yahweh is the great I am.

When we read the scriptures—when we tell sacred stories—we invoke the presence of God. We are not telling stories of how things used to be. We are not describing how God used to work. We are opening ourselves to the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Creator is not the One who created our world and then quit. God the Father is eternally the Creator. God the Son is eternally redeeming. God the Spirit is eternally empowering.

For Native people, this is so important. Our sacred stories are not about the time 400 years ago when we used to be somebody. We are gifted and empowered people today. Our sacred stories are not magic, but they are powerful. They open us up to be part of the Creator’s story—today.

This is a truth the church needs to hear as well. Most churches spend most of their time discussing how to do things just like we did them last year. Our ministry tends to take place in the rear view mirror.

At this time of year we are not remembering what Christ did long ago. We tell the passion story to celebrate what Jesus is doing for us. Right now. Today.

If you want to read inspirational history, try Shakespeare. If you do not expect anything powerful to happen, then do not read scripture. If you do read a sacred story, get ready for something new to happen today.

For Native believers, that promise is renewed every day when the red sun rises. This is a brand new creation. The next time you see the sun come up, take time to thank the Creator for what he is making new.


Creator, you are the God of is, not was. Today, create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me.