Romans 11:33-36, “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?” For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen” (NIV).
Admittedly, defining doxology can be difficult. At its simplest, doxology is a short form of praise offered to God, often at the end of something. Sometimes we use this word for a short blessing at the end of worship. Any way you look at it, doxology brings something to a close.
As averse as I can be to endings, there is something beautiful about closing your eyes, lifting upturned, open hands, and receiving grace to go out into the world one more time, because God is worthy of praise.
As I tried to piece together the daily office, this morning, the passages seemed oddly matched. The Doxology? Well, OK… but I didn’t want to write about Exodus 2:11-15. Really, who does? For reference, here it is:
“One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. Looking this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. The next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, ‘Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?’ The man said, ‘Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?’ Then Moses was afraid and thought, ‘What I did must have become known.’ When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian, where he sat down by a well” (NIV).
There are a number of things that could be noted here, but the thing that caught me off guard was the final phrase. After slavery, abuse, murder, deception, fighting, judgment, fear, and threats (all in a matter of 48 hours); Moses runs. Life as he knows it ends (and maybe it should… he even brought some of this on himself… but again, too much for today), and then something both ordinary and extraordinary happens. He sits down by a well.
Because here’s the thing… Unless you’re dead; when one thing ends, another begins. Um… scratch that… It sounded catchy, but I just realized it might be less than theologically sound… Let’s just leave it at; when one thing ends, another begins. Period.
I wonder how often we miss the well.
I am thinking about this, specifically, in regard to community, today. I’ve been returning to this concept of struggle and grief over the loss of community for so long now, it sort of makes me sick. But stay with me. Grief is real, we need to work through it, I’m not sure it always fully comes to a close, and I’m not done talking/writing about it. However, I had this moment the other day when I realized I was missing the “next.” I was sitting by the well, metaphorically drinking from it all night long, and it was 5am before I realized I had adjusted to a new community, and I was OK. Go figure…
Taking the “Theology Besties” post off the “job board” still feels a little rough. But I guess you shouldn’t continue to advertise for a position that has been filled…