Today's Reading: 1 Peter 3:8-15
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear. (1 Peter 3:15)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Peter says to be ready to give an apology for being a Christian. What? Say you're sorry for being a Christian? No way! No, not that kind of apology. The Greek word "apology" means "defense." It's the reason for the hope that is in us is that Jesus died for our sins and rose from the dead.
Notice Peter doesn't say to brag or be boastful or condescending or to look down on others as if you're smarter than they are because you're a Christian. In fact, that's the world's way of looking at you because it believes you are stupid for being a Christian and believing in Jesus when you've never seen Him.
What is your hope? That your sins are forgiven and that you will rise from the dead. Why do you have this hope? Because Jesus died and rose. You know this because it was testified to by His eyewitness apostles. It is logical and historically accurate, even aside from the Scriptural witness, to declare that His tomb was empty!
And having that hope that Jesus is risen from the dead as He said, your hope is certain because of His Word. Word and water in baptism. Word and Body and Blood in the Supper. Word preached and taught and declared in Holy Absolution.
Although the world likes to put on a brave face as if it has nothing to fear, it knows death is real and it fears death. But you, dear Christian, have a hope in Christ, a promise that is sure, that death has been defeated. You will rise again and live forever. Death is not the end. The world doesn't know this. But you do. And when the time comes to give those around you a reason for the hope that is in you, well, Jesus is it! Let them know in meekness and gentleness. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
O Jesus Christ, my Lord, So meek in deed and word, You suffered death to save us Because Your love would have us Be heirs of heav'nly gladness When ends this life of sadness. (In God, My Faithful God, LSB 745:4)