by Tom Burns
(Editor’s note: With this post, we finish our series One Question to the Gospel. We asked, “What one question has helped you begin a gospel conversation?” Read entire series here.)
I must admit, I don’t have a single question that I always use to help start a gospel conversation. Depending on the person and the situation, there are several good ones. My favorites include those already posted in this series.
“If Jesus walked into the room right now, what would you ask Him?” This question is great whenever the subject of God, Jesus, or religion is already mentioned.
“Can I pray for you?” This is the question I use most frequently at O’Hare Airport Chapel when greeting a traveler. He or she rarely say no, and frequently goes right to an important issue in his or her life that is open to supernatural help and leads to a conversation of where our help comes from. But these can be a little awkward in the normal flow of daily life in the community, in the marketplace, or with the person in the seat next to you on the airplane.
There is a question I find more and more flows very naturally in daily life. Casual conversation with neighbors across the fence, strangers in the long line at the coffee shop, or colleagues arriving early to a community meeting often begins with a comment on the news. And we all know that most news these days is bad news. News can range from terrorist activities, government gridlock, a bad day in the stock market, the jogging trail where it’s no longer safe for your daughter to run alone, the violent weather that destroys property, the hometown team’s losing streak, on and on. Most news it seems is bad news.
So I ask, “Where’s your hope?”
For many, their hope is in their job, their investments, their family, their health, their favorite team, and such. These are things that moth and rust destroy, or sickness and death ultimately attack. These are things that are beyond our total control. Putting our hope in these things makes us victims of circumstances, because no matter how good things are today for us, it won’t last forever. Nothing in this world does!
When our hope is in treasures on earth, it’s only a matter of time until hope is dashed. And the daily bombardment of bad news keeps us reminded us of this. So, where’s your hope? What will you do when the day comes that it’s taken away? By stock market crash, a tornado, a cancer diagnosis, a mugger, an auto accident, a terrorist…
My hope is in the Lord Jesus Christ! And Jesus has provided me with the blessed assurance of eternal glory. Treasures in heaven that can never be taken away. And strength to get through today. Can I tell you about my hope?
Romans 15:13 – May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Tom Burns is a chaplain at the Chicago O’Hare Airport Chapel, ministering to travelers and the over 40,000 employees working at O’Hare Airport. He is an executive coach and consultant, working with Christian business executives and church/nonprofit leaders.