"But in your hearts set apart 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."
1 Peter 3:15
Yesterday, I was making cookies. Lots and lots of chocolate chip cookies. As I have mentioned before I am trying to live a more healthy lifestyle and lots of chocolate chip cookies is not on the menu! As I baked cookies the door bell kept ringing and friends from our congregation kept arriving with armloads of more cookies! Pretty soon my kitchen counters were full of boxes and boxes of cookies and the yummy smell of freshly backed goods filled the air. So why I am putting myself through this torture? My father-in-law Gerry inspires me.
He leaves tomorrow to share the hope that he has with inmates in a prison. I can't think of a place that would be more void of hope than a prison. Gerry will spend the next four days with a Kairos team giving himself away to shine some light into this very dark place. He will share with them how Christ changed his life, how he has has been forever changed and how they too can have that kind of hope. You see hope commits us to action that connects with God's promises. Hope acts on the conviction that God will complete the work that He has begun even when the appearances, especially when the appearances oppose it. Gerry and his friends will share cookies with these inmates and they will share the hope of Christ. This is a hope-determined action. It is a participation in the future that God is bringing into being. It it listening to what God says and responding despite what society or anyone else thinks.
On Karios' website http://www.kairosprisonministries.ca/index.shtml they have some testimonies. Here are just two that hit home for me.
Steve: “I was lost...without hope ... no guide, no friend, I have found the path to freedom, hope with vision, guidance toward happiness and more kindness, love and fellowship than I have ever seen.”
Art: “I’m glad I got caught, because if I had not been caught and sentenced and sent to this place, I might never have met Jesus Christ on this weekend, never have known God was real.”
The act of bringing hundreds of dozens of cookies to a prison and sharing hope over coffee may not seem to be a spectacular act in our worldly view but when I read the testimonies above I am awed by the deliberate act of hope for Christ that will occur this weekend and I am inspired at the example that my father-in-law sets for us all. I can't wait to hear about what God accomplishes. Where will you share your hope this weekend?