Here I am as the speaker at a ‘Church week-end away.’ A popular annual activity of many many UK Churches. The church in question is a fun small gathering from Bramhall Baptist Church. What isn’t quite so fun is the text that I have been given to teach on. To be honest it’s awkward and fairly painful.
You see, they wanted me to speak on ‘always be prepared to give the reason for the hope that you have.’ An oft quoted text for evangelism teaching, which if it stood alone is quite cool at a surface level. The adventure of letting others know something of our faith. Exciting. But place the text in context and it’s just all a bit tricky. There are three main themes that I have seen throughout the letter that this verse sits in. Wait for it, they certainly aren’t that attractive: surrender, serving and suffering. Ouch.
I am taking three main teaching sessions to talk about how Peter writes about surrendering to the Lordship of Jesus, serving others in gentleness and respect, and embracing suffering that inevitably comes our way as an opportunity to excel in being bringer’s of hope.
It is a challenge yet if we appreciate the bible and believe that it is a means in which God speaks to us we can’t ignore the hard bits that require us to be more Jesus like and less ‘me centred.’