17 April, 2024

Avoiding Spiritual Jeopardy

by | 2 October, 2023 | 0 comments

By Doug Redford 

For 36 years, Alex Trebek hosted the television show Jeopardy! He became a fixture in countless households every weeknight. In early 2019, Trebek was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Later that summer, he completed a book about his life and career titled, The Answer Is . . . Reflections on My Life.  

At one point in the book, Trebek offered this reason for the longevity and popularity of Jeopardy! People have found “comfort,” as he put it, in watching Jeopardy! because it’s become familiar to them.  

He wrote, “At some point—and it occurred slowly over the years—we made the transition from just being an enjoyable quiz show to being part of your daily life.” Later Trebek observed, “If it [Jeopardy!] were in your pantry, it would be on the shelf labeled ‘Staples.’” 

There was a time when going to church and participating in various church activities through the week were “staples” of American life. That’s no longer the case. We’re now part of a culture that is growing more and more “post-Christian” and even “anti-Christian” at an alarming rate. It can be easy for people who grew up in the former days to let feelings of discouragement and fear govern their attitude about life in general and undermine their relationship with God. 

For followers of Jesus, whether in former or current times, the “staples” remain just that; they are the disciplines of the Christian life that must be faithfully maintained and practiced in order to keep our spiritual house in order. Our time with God in prayer and the Word and our time in meaningful fellowship with other Christians must be jealously guarded. 

Communion is a part of that “staple” environment. Paul warns against taking Communion in an “unworthy manner” and highlights the dire consequences that can occur if we fail to examine ourselves and show proper reverence for the Lord’s church (1 Corinthians 11:27-30). We should treat Communion as the most important meal of our week. 

We have to be intentional about the way we prioritize Communion and all of the spiritual disciplines; the current culture is certainly not going to offer us any assistance. Not to do so is to put our spiritual life in real jeopardy. 

Doug Redford has served in the preaching ministry, as an editor of adult Sunday school curriculum, and as a Bible college professor. Now retired, he continues to write and speak as opportunities come. 

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