Questions! Questions! Questions!

Pretend this is a popular game show. The host makes a statement from a field of general knowledge (literature, history, science, religion, popular culture, etc.) and the contestant identifies the answer with a question. This is delightfully counter-intuitive! Usually, we ask a question and then the hearer simply answers it with a statement. Indulge me, please. First, the statement... "This man has been made famous by questions." Answer is... "Who is Alex Trebek?" I think you have already figured out that I was teasing you with this little exercise of engagement.

"What is this about? Who is this child?" 
Clip Art Credit: FAVPNG.com

Alex Trebek lost his battle with pancreatic cancer on November 9 and passed away at the age of eighty. He will be missed and certainly remembered by his many followers as the quintessential and iconic host of "Jeopardy!" This syndicated game show created by Merv Griffin first aired in 1964 and Trebek had been the steady host since 1984. 

"Jeopardy!" has logged some 8,000 episodes over the years and received 39 Daytime Emmy's, a Peabody Award, and TV Guide rated it as one of the top 60 television shows of all time. Needless to say "Jeopardy!" and Trebek have been immensely popular among those who love trivia and have a thirst for knowledge. Since our retirement, Monique and I hardly missed a single episode. We even argue over who "questioned" the answer first! 😉

This is the Advent (Latin, "coming") season on the Christian calendar. Many Christians will be reading the Christmas story from the Scriptures in these days and weeks leading up to the celebration on the 25th. It is amazing to me how questions play an important role in the telling of this story. Mary asks, "How can this happen?" Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, asks, "How can I be sure?" The Wise Men ask, "Where is the newborn king?" Even Herod insincerely inquires, "Messiah? Report back and I will worship him, too!" (Luke 1:18, 34; Matthew 2:2, 8).Those invested only in the material and secular aspects of this season must be questioning, "What is the spiritual significance of Christmas?"

This is the season for investigation and like Mary, "pondering" (Luke 2:19). I love to get my Bible in hand in these days to consider the variant ways the gospel writers see this seminal event in Christian history. Matthew and Luke record more traditional birth narratives. John, in his prologue, brings a unique and contrasting understanding of the "Word who becomes flesh" (Jn. 1:1-14). Each account is rich with meaning. Sit down in these days and take some time as you study, ponder deeply and ruminate on this thrilling story of the coming Christ Child. 

Our church is offering several small groups that are meeting virtually during Advent to discuss and contemplate what this season is all about. I am privileged to lead one of them. If you have opportunity, partner with others in this quest to better understand and appreciate what Christ's coming has meant and continues to mean for all believers throughout the world. 

When the statement is made... "This child of Christmas changed the world!" Don't hesitate to "ask" your answer and affirm, "Who is Jesus, my Savior and King?!!"

Mike Keppler, retired pastor, 
active churchman and
doting grandparent. 
Contact: drmjkeppler@gmail.com



Comments

  1. Mike, we too enjoyed watching Alex Trebek and Jeopardy. In his last days, he had a lot of time to evaluate his life and his wonderful relationship with his family. Unless I missed it, I did not hear anything about a personal spiritual relationship; of course, that would not have been politically correct. He certainly left the impression of being a great guy and hopefully I just missed any witness he may have expressed about our Savior.

    We're doing great and hopefully you and your entire family will enjoy the Christmas season in spite of the pandemic.

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