BUT NOW . . .
I love words. One of my professors is a philologist — literally a lover of words. You can actually get a degree in philology. (Ironically, I had to look up the word to know what it meant!) I not only love words, I love The Word. And I love the words in The Word. But there are some words that stand out as my favorites. Obviously, having the name Jesus to say and call out is pretty great. And I am particularly partial to the word "therefore" — the clear post sign that we are to respond to what has preceded the word. But possibly my two favorite words are "but now."
"But now" indicates that the old has gone. "But now" points to a new reality, the fact that something has changed! Listen to some of the best "but nows" . . . "but now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near" (Ephesians 2:13), "but now" we have been set free from the slavery of sin (Romans 6:22), "but now" the mystery has been revealed — we have been grafted in (Colossians 1:26), and my all-time favorite, "but now" a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known (Romans 3:21).
The good news is that Christ has come and we live in the "but now"! We have been brought near. We have been set free. We have been grafted in. And we have been given a righteousness that is not by works but by faith. Hallelujah for the "but now"! "But now" we are called to respond and live in light of the "but nows" . . .
As my church’s tag line says, grace changes everything!