The Church is a place where people often seek out answers to lifes great mysteries. What is often forgotten is that life's great mysteries are mysteries because no one knows the answer. Not even the church. However, that has not stopped us in the Church from giving answers. This may be why people come to the Church, we have given answers in the past.
What is obvious to many is the answers the Church has provided no longer are sufficient. And they are not sufficient in that the answers are incorrect. Let us remember we are talking about "answers" to mysteries so who is to say if they are right or wrong or both!. What makes the answers no longer sufficient is that answers are now a dime a dozen.
A simple internet search will provide you a million answers to even the deepest mysteries of the world. Again, these answers may be right, may be wrong or may be both right and wrong, we are all grasping at straws here. But that does not diminish the fact that there are millions of answers.
We can begin to see the sunseting on the age of the answer when you attend a trivia night at a local pub. What makes these nights so interesting is the fact that everyone knows that the answers can all be found online. The draw to trivia night is part nostalgia and part novelty. Nostalgia for the age when answers were power and novelty to the reality that answers are much easier to come by than once was the case.
And so with the age of answers coming to an end, we are here to witness the age of the question. One might be able to see now why the Church, which has set ourselves up for so long as a place for answers, is in trouble. The Church if it is going to be helpful for people into this new age, we need to put down the answers and pick up the question. Move from Trivia Night to Jeopardy.
As you know, the point of Jeopardy is to craft the question to the given answer. This really is what Jesus did all the time. When someone came to him with a situation (an answer) Jesus gave them a question. The parables are nothing if not questions in story form. The question "who is my neighbor" is asked in the parable of the 'Good Samaritan'. "How we should forgive" can be found in the parable of the 'Prodigal'. Jesus would have been a Jeopardy champ.
When answers are easy to come by, it is the question that begins to have greater importance. Have you ever wanted to know something and knew that it had to be out there but did not know what to type into the search bar in order to call up the answer? The answers are in search of the questions. We in the Church need to remember that all it is a trivial pursuit to give answers to a world that already "knows". Can we recapture the ability of the Jesus (the original champion of Jeopardy), to find the questions?