Let’s give the competing voices familial personalities and have them gather together for a birthday party at grandma’s house in the living room around the TV. They’re all watching basketball of course.
First, there’s uncle Victor. He’s a gentle man in his 50’s that doesn’t enjoy the family gatherings at holidays if there’s anticipation of debate. He feels that everyone should be respectful if they’re going to discuss such significant material and that this respect be demonstrated by a more open exchange and less of a condescending tone from his in-laws.
Second, we meet cousin Frank. Frank is a big man, and when Frank speaks his voice warrants attention. Frank highly opinionated and has strong convictions. He never shys away from debate and in fact, is poised, eager for the clash if in-laws should be so daring as to bring up the topic. Frank usually feels he demonstrates himself as right on the mark. He knows others are comfortable trying to push him off of it either.
Then there’s Paul. Paul is similar to Frank yet not as imposing. Still highly opinionated, Paul looks forward to arguing his point. Both Frank and Paul are often viewed by family as stubborn and overconfident. Yet, they take pride in their rhetoric and feel the family’s distaste is a sign affirming their shrewdness.
Lastly, David is one of the nephews who’s recently married. David finds the Christmas debates exhilarating but it is too new to the family to have much influence at pivotal points. David is polite, similar to Victor, and doesn’t enjoy the “talking over one another” phases of the debates. Often, David makes astute observations yet obversations aren’t what scores in these games. Experience and familiarity scores.
What are the Gospels really about? That’s what keeps goading Victor, Frank, Paul, and David. Can they really discern what the Gospel writers intended to portray? Even if they can grasp the content to some degree has Frank or Paul, or both, dominated the Christmas discussions for so long that the rest of the family is left to think that Frank and Paul have most of the answers? Do Victor and David have enough time in the game to actually score enough, or are they content to let Fran and Paul be the “ball hogs”? From one perspective no one is winning this game. Some may be in the lead but there’s time on the clock. Which competing voice will win?