Today is my last day of class in the doctorate of ministry program at Luther Seminary. In some ways it is an ending. There will be no more classes. There will be no more assigned reading. There will be no more preparing to spend three weeks here at Luther. Because it is an ending, there is grief. As crazy as it might sound, I will miss it. I have been blessed by the conversations over the last three years. They awoken me to new ideas. Just yesterday I learned what the six chief parts of the Christian faith are according to Martin Luther.
Okay...perhaps not all that exciting, but it gets my brain thinking new thoughts and the synapses firing making new connections. I will miss reading books I might never have picked up. I will miss the chapel services where I could sit back and worship.
At the same time I realize it is not really the end. I have research to do, writing to do, and next April I will defend all of that will unfold in the coming months.
But for today, I want to think about endings. They matter. Ever get to the end of a book or movie and feel frustrated by the way it ends? Either it was too neat and tidy or it wasn't tidy enough or just did not seem to fit where the plot of the book/movie was going.
Endings also matter in our life. That is why I think there is something profound and sacred about our Jewish ancestors celebrating the Sabbath on Friday night to Saturday. It gives space to look back at the end of the week, to reflect on where God was over the last week, what remains unanswered/unresolved, and most importantly Sabbath gives space to rest and remember who we are (the People of God) and whose we are (God's beloved children).
As the sun sets tonight, I invite you to think about the ending of this week. Where have you sensed God? Where do you struggle to make sense/meaning of life right now? How can you rest knowing that the One in whom you rest is both your ending and your beginning?
May the traces of the One who is the Alpha and Omega, our beginning and our ending be with you.
Grace and peace