Friday, July 25, 2008

Reasons to be hopeful..?

I'm not back at work yet - another week to go (yay!!!) But tomorrow I'm speaking at the final session of the current Street Pastors' training course in Brixton, so I've been doing some thinking not only about that but also what might be in store for us at church in the autumn.

This year's Spring Harvest tackled the subject of hope and one or two people came back from that wanting to explore the issues it raised further. At the same time I've been thinking about Christian identity as it's unpacked in 1 Peter.

So, this morning I mused on whether it would be good to do a Little reflecting as a church on Christian hope, using 1 Peter 3:15 as a springboard: ' 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. But do this with gentleness and respect.' (TNIV)

What reasons do we have to be hopeful? In the midst of the credit crunch, rising food prices, international threats and instability, where's the hope? Clearly Peter's first readers had it and their neighbours noticed. Do we? Does anybody see it? Does anyone ask us about it? And most importantly, are we able to tell them anything useful.

It's clear that Spring Harvest opened up a way of talking about Christian hope that was unusual, unsettling but attractive to a lot of people. I think that's probably worth exploring in the autumn. But what should I be thinking of including in a such a series? Answers on a postcard...

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