15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,
I’m preaching tomorrow in my own church since our pastor is away on a well deserved holiday. Since almost all the preaching that I have done to this point has been in this church, I needed to come up with a new sermon that I could use here and would also be applicable to other churches in the future.
1 Peter 3:15 is a passage that has been important to me, especially in my work with youth. Young people are always so free to ask questions, to come right out and want to know why you do the things you do, how you would use your faith to deal with a particular issue in life. They have kept me at a readiness to answer.
I wonder how others do with this. Do they live a life that encourages those around them to ask about what makes them tick or do their lives seem so much like the norm that their neighbours assume that they already know the answer.
Many of us really like the words of St. Francis of Assisi “Preach the gospel always, if necessary use words.” We use these words as a license for silence. We argue with ourselves that words won’t be necessary and we don’t make ourselves ready we can act out our faith. St Francis with these words is making a statement about our lifestyle, I am sure that he knew that if we did truly act out the gospel at some point words would have to become a necessity.
I am finding that the papers I am writing are really helping to make me realize how difficult it really is to quantify my beliefs about God, the Bible, Theology in general to words on paper. It is good to write it down, to think about it, to ruminate on what has been said in the past, to formulate a statement of what I believe at this time in my journey. More Christians should likely do this sort of exercise and often. I think about the statements of faith that are written by young people doing profession of faith. Many of them are wonderful at the time, many of them are the last effort made to really spell out what is believed.
Always be ready to answer for the hope that you have.