It is estimated that some 100 million people will tune in to watch the Super Bowl on February 5. While relatively few viewers actually care who wins between the Patriots and the Giants (we just want a good game, right?) people will watch for a variety of reasons:
- many will watch just for the commercials
- some viewers just to see the half-time entertainment
- still others viewing lament that Tim Tebow’s not playing in the big game
Whatever the reason we watch, we all can agree that it has become a huge American event. So much so it has become an unofficial national holiday called: Super Bowl Sunday. Super Bowl falling on a Sunday leads churches to react in different ways: many churches will cancel normal Sunday evening activities, some will say it is sin to watch it (can we all say together: legalism), some will gather to watch the game after their services, while others will use it as a strategic outreach opportunity.
Regardless of your response to the Super Bowl, it is important to remember that something much more important happens as Christians gather together every Sunday morning and worship the risen Savior, Jesus Christ. So I hope we will gather to worship with a greater and deeper affection for the Lord on His day than we will do anything else on game day. Michael Horton has reminded us that every Sunday is the “Big Day” in his article: Hey Football Fans, the Big Day is Nearly Here Again.
I am not so concerned with how, where, or if you are even watching the Super Bowl. I would like to point you to some resources to help “redeem” your viewing experience and to alert us to activities and statistics that are much more important that football.
There is something beyond sad that happens in Super Bowl cities (and all major cities). At an estimated 10,000 victims, this will be the largest sex trafficking and child prostitution event of the year in the US. I am grateful that Justin Holcomb has alerted us to these terribly crimes. Fortunately, Indiana’s Governor Mitch Daniels passed legislation to make the law tougher on criminals caught doing this and enabling hotels to take a more active part to stop this. It is encouraging that the public is becoming more aware of this issue and many are fighting back.
C.J. Mahaney has some great tips to watch the Super Bowl to the glory of God in his post from Super Bowl XLIV. While the post is from 2010 (so disregard the game predictions) the viewing advice is timeless. I do disagree with C.J. about the event being overrated and not just because I had an incredible time helping on the field at Super Bowl XXXIX (that is a post for another day).
Missiological Thinking has given some insightful posts to help think about the more important numbers of the cities represented in the Super Bowl. The first post tells the numbers of Evangelical Christians and Churches in the Boston, New York, and Indianapolis areas. The next post gets more specific with these important statistics in these cities that need the Gospel.
I hope these resources will help with your viewing pleasure for the big game and get you thinking beyond football this Super Bowl Sunday.