Archive for October 1st, 2007

But God…

Monday, October 1st, 2007

Today’s scripture: Acts 2:14-36 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me in this passage? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Tom Chittenden):

It is the beginning of the busiest part of the season at work. The project I was contracted to manage is coming to a furious close. The team is a bit anxious, patience is running thin, hours are long, and the light at the end of the tunnel seems to actually be the train itself.

Almost as if on cue, other beloved people in my life (my youngest son and his family, my twin sisters, and one of my closest friends) find themselves in the midst of significant personal challenges. Recent deaths or those precariously pending add to the stress.

It is precisely events like these (that seem to write themselves into the script of our life) that confirm to our unconscious mind that there is plenty of which we should be afraid. We begin to believe we’re victims and that there is no hope in life’s situations.


We can choose to be grateful for the amazing promises we find in God’s Word that follow two wonderful words — BUT GOD — appearing to remind us of where our real hope is found!

Here’s a sampling of “BUT GOD” promises:

  • But God remembered Noah. Genesis 8:1
  • But God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish. Psalm 9:18
  • But God has surely listened and has heard my prayer. Psalm 66:19
  • My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26
  • Because the patriarchs were jealous of Joseph, they sold him as a slave into Egypt. But God was with him. Acts 7:9
  • But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
  • But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us. 2 Corinthians 7:6

Luke also has provided us with several “But God” parallels that set in contrast the false ending of Good Friday with the surprise of Easter Sunday. According to the various sermons contained in Acts, the move from crucifixion to resurrection is a move from a human act to a divine act. It is a climactic reversal, a twist in the story. What we (humanity) have done, God has undone! The gospel story does not end with a sigh from the cross, but is only marvelously continued by God breathing life into the body of Jesus.

  • “you put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead.” Acts 2:23-24
  • “you killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead” Acts 3:15
  • “when they had carried out all that was written about him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb, but God raised him from the dead. Acts 13:29-30

Thought for the day: Every day is a brand new opportunity to see a “but God” moment. When you’re feeling overwhelmed with life, take heart, and always remember — BUT GOD!

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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