Reading: 1st Peter 3:13-22
Verse 15: “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.”
Peter continues in this week’s reading with the theme of being blessed when we suffer for doing good. He offers a word of encouragement from Isaiah 8: “Do not fear what they fear.” This can be taken as a blanket statement. In this context Peter is encouraging them not to fear suffering. But it is broader than this. As followers of Christ we need not fear death because Jesus Christ has won that victory too. As Peter later writes, we are saved “by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” The world has other fears too – loss of wealth, loss of status, loss of power… These worldly things were also on the line for these elect exiles. The same goes for you and me.
In verse 15 Peter offers this guidance: “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.” The first part encourages followers to hold Jesus in the #1 position – ahead of self, ahead of family, ahead of work, ahead of the lures and cares of this world. Doing so will lead us to live lives that stand out from this world’s ways of living. As it did for Peter’s readers, it will bring attention and focus upon us. So we are advised to always be ready to offer testimony to the hope we exhibit during suffering – or the joy in mourning or the contentment in times of need or… In short, we are to ever be ready to tell the good news: the story of what Jesus Christ has done and is doing in our lives.
As we share our faith with others we shine the light and love of Jesus Christ into the darkness and pain of their lives. This is not always easy. Sometimes we suffer for doing good. Yet this is our call: to bring Christ to the world. May it ever be so for you and for me.
Prayer: Lord God, lead me to bravely and boldly live out my faith. Keep me always prepared to talk of how you have been and are at work in my life. In and through me may others see and be drawn to your love. Amen.