"This Is Jeopardy"

Thoughts about this word on a Tuesday morning--

There's the show, of course.

I think we were all saddened to hear of the death of Alex Trebek. He was the erudite and classy game show host who fought so valiantly against pancreatic cancer but died on Sunday morning.

Jeopardy was a part of my life even before Trebek began there 36 years ago. In college, I used to watch and play with my dorm mates in the afternoons. Art Fleming was the host back then. We each had a clicker in hand, and shouted out the answers as quickly as we could. In more recent decades, I have made the effort to watch every evening when I am home at 7:30pm. John Mark has literally lived his entire life like this.

Audrey is used to hearing me say as Final Jeopardy approaches--no matter the category -- "I'm going to bet it all." And, though I'm certainly no Ken Jennings or James Holzhauer, I sometimes know the answer when neither of the contestants do. A very proud moment at my house!
The set, the theme music, the design of the show, and Alex Trebek himself-- it's part of Americana now.

It has been, has he said, "The one game show that you don't mind admitting to others that you watch.”

I'm still going to watch-- but it won't be the same without Alex.

Then, there's the sermon series.

Eight-year-old Molly asked her mother, "Where is Jeopardy in the Bible?" Mom wasn't sure at first what she was asking.

"You know-- when Pastor Don preaches about questions,” the child explained further.

I was thrilled to hear about her interest, of course. Somebody out there is listening after all!
I have enjoyed this series. There are two more Sundays to go before we shift into Advent. This week it will be the question that God asks in Isaiah 6:8--"Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" In a way, it may be the most urgent one of all.

Finally, the reality.

The actual word means: "exposure to, or the imminence of, loss, injury, or death.”

There's always the possibility that our lives are in such a state-- especially, it seems, in this crazy year 2020. COVID, hurricanes, forest fires, economic collapse, and all the rest. Then, on top of that, some people are worried that another "Friday the 13th" is coming later this week.

I rest, though, in the assurance of Psalm 91-- and commend it's every line to you today. The term "double jeopardy" refers to putting someone on trial twice for the same crime-- and it is not allowed.

That's why I do not live in fear of one day, somehow losing my salvation. Christ has paid the full penalty for my sin and I have been "justified"-- declared right with God. It happened by grace, through faith. And Romans 8:1 says: "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus...”

A happy Veteran's Day to you tomorrow! And if, like me, you have never served in the military, look for ways to celebrate, honor and thank those who have.

Your pastor loves you!

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