URC Daily Devotion 28 May 2024

1 Peter 3. 15-17

…but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defence to anyone who demands from you an account of the hope that is in you;  yet do it with gentleness and reverence. Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame.  For it is better to suffer for doing good, if suffering should be God’s will, than to suffer for doing evil.

Reflection

When I was minister in Stockport, South Manchester, I was involved in the early days of developing a café. The café was to be a place where people could belong and feel held, it was to be a place that lived out Good News.

We quickly decided to call it Olive. This was after a lady who had recently died but had spent her life in the town and was known for making people feel loved as she went about ‘gossiping the Gospel’.

So often we fall into the mistake of thinking that witnessing to the Good News needs a plan or a strategy, we apply modern day methods to produce results and outcomes that can be turned into graphs.

And yet in the reading Peter asks us to be ready to share gently with others what makes us hopeful. Recently I read a series of posts on X (formerly Twitter) by Phil Knox of The Evangelical Alliance. He had observed from visiting churches and talking to leaders that one reason adults came to faith was not because of a ‘professional Christian’. They came to faith because a friend, neighbour, colleague, family member had encouraged their journey.

Sharing hope, living in a way that is attractive or modelling a different way of being catches people’s attention. It opens conversations and gives us opportunities to witness to the Good News that should guide our lives as disciples of Jesus. In a world that is so often marked by stress and fear, our opportunity to be known as hopeful people has never been so great. So may you today find plenty of opportunities and conversations in which you can be people of hope and in doing so spend time ‘gossiping the Gospel’!

Prayer

Gracious God
We thank you that you are our hope.
Send us out to share our lives with others.
To be kind,
to love and to serve those we meet,
and to offer freely all that we have found in your Good News.
Amen
 

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