I'm so sad to learn of the death of Alex Trebek. I can't remember a time in my life when that Jeopardy music hasn't played in the background, and his calming voice wasn't driving the trivia-based game to cross-generational popularity. If you wonder why the show has had such long-standing success - you could look to the fact that trivia is popular because people like to be challenged on what they know. We like to see good competition and people risking money to try to outsmart one another. Also, Alex Trebeck himself has been a bit larger than life. I have loosely followed his battle with pancreatic cancer and his heroic journey to fight as hard and as long as he could.
I really want to reflect on how Jeopardy was different from any other game show because it started with the answers. You know what I mean, right? Someone would select a category, and then Trebeck would give them a question, and they must fill in the answer. The question is the answer if you want to play Jeopardy-style. If you didn't begin your response with a question, then it didn't count, i.e., "What is . . .?" or "Who is . . .?"
Now think about our faith for just a minute. One of the most basic faith and trust principles in Jesus is that we live life already knowing the answers. We start with the answers. . .
This present suffering doesn't compare to the glory about to be revealed.
One could suggest that the Christian faith is one big match of Jeopardy. The answers have been given, and we get to fill in the question. The "why" and the "what" are already settled, but the "how" is still very much in the air.
How much difference does starting with the answer make when you can see through death to eternal life?
How much difference does starting with the answer make when you are staring something in the face that is a horrible mess, but Jesus gives an answer which says, "I come to make all things new."
Life looks like a dark place sometimes, and yet the answer of Christ giving all on a cross to facilitate our reconciliation with God changes everything!!!
So question for you - If you start with the answer, does it change the question? How should your life look different today if your faith has already claimed that Jesus is the answer?
Chris Westmoreland Lead Pastor, Long's Chapel