There was a “But . . .” at the beginning of the 24th chapter of Luke’s gospel which was read on Easter Day. The horror of the crucifixion, with all its dereliction and cosmic disturbance was hushed as Sabbath was observed – and then came the “But . . .”. Out of the darkness of Calvary and the stillness of an exhausted rest, a group of women emerge carrying spices and ointments. What will the “But . . .” lead us to? A stone rolled away, an empty tomb, two men in white (whose presence invoked terror) with a message which left the women bewildered. The disciples dismissed the story as an idle tale . . . except there is a “But Peter . . .”
What a remarkable piece of writing, catching God’s “But . . .” in the story. Without that “But . . .” Luke could have ended his account at the end of Chapter 23, and the powers of darkness have had the last word. But God is not finished (I know we were taught not to start sentences with “But”, but the resurrection throws english grammar out of the window). But the power of love is to be released. But there is a word after death – and that is Life.
Sometimes the stuff in the Middle East takes me to Calvary – and darkness has won. Then I hear a whispered “But . . .”
The deaths of Paige and Mr Shah in Strathclyde in holy week open despair in my heart. Then a “But . . .” is sown deep within me.
The challenges in the circuit here can feel overwhelming. Then my head is raised as I read the “But . . .”
I could go on – and so could you. The rumour of resurrection possibility means that we are given the courage to believe and choose courage again. God is not finished at Calvary.
Peace be the journey.