Prayer: Dear God, help us to share our hope in you through kind conversations. Amen
Reading: I Peter 3: 13-22 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: I remember a Peanuts cartoon of Lucy getting someone to agree with her and when asked how she brought about the conversion she replied, "I hit him over the head with my lunchbox." Ouch! It may have worked at the moment but how long-lasting will it be? Or worse, will that person now hit the next soon-to-be convert over the head with a lunchbox? If marketing is everything, this does not sound like a good plan at all.
In this first letter to Peter, we are told to always be ready to explain the hope we have and to do it with gentleness and reverence. Hitting someone over the head is neither gentle nor reverent. Perhaps a better lunchbox conversion would be through gentle conversation over the meal in that lunchbox and maybe even beginning that meal with a reverent prayer.
While this advice is specifically for when someone demands an explanation of our hope within, any meal begun with reverent prayer and carried on with gentle conversation may be just the hope someone is looking for without even asking. --Ruth Gates
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