A book that I made good use of in my early days in the ministry was entitled; “Experiments in Bible Study” by Hans Rudi-Weber. I tried out a number of his Bible study experiments in various churches and they all seemed to go well.
One of them was on our epistle passage for this Sunday (1 Peter 3: 13-22) and was entitled; The Hope that is in You. The key verse is verse 15. “Always be ready to make a defence to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is in you but do it with gentleness and reverence”.
This is what the author wrote in his notes: “The hope of the early Christians was that Christ is Lord and that his cause would win. This hope became visible in their daily life. Their priorities obviously differed from those of the people surrounding them. They were even ready to suffer and die for that hope Such a visible hope astonished or irritated their neighbours and colleagues. So questions arose, not only friendly questions but also accusations. Christians were summoned before the judge. In a literal sense they has to make a defence of their hope.
In the early church evangelism was thus not only an organised activity by especially gifted persons. It was much more the spontaneous and non-aggressive gossiping of the gospel by ordinary Christians in the course of their daily life. And the secret of it all was the hope which had become visible in the daily life of the Christians.”
So the question for you and I is simply this. How, today, can our Christian hope become visible in our lives? Addressing this question led to many fruitful exchanges.