Monday morning, the day after the Super Bowl has been played. One team one. One team lost. It is the same each year. One will come out on top and one will not. Neither team has anything to be ashamed of when all is said and done. Both teams made it to the Super Bowl, the highest level of performance in the football world. This year one team dominated the other. The next time they meet, it might just come out differently. One team was really "on" and the other team was "off." Doesn't change the fact that both teams played well enough during the season and the playoffs to make it to the place that no other teams made it this year. Congratulations to both teams. And congratulations to the team that won.
But what difference has that really made for the world? We have spent millions and millions of dollars for this one game. It is not just the advertisers that spent that kind of money. Think of all the money spent on chicken wings, chips, salsa and beer. Millions of dollars spent for those few hours on a Sunday evening. So much hype and push for the "big game."
All right, I almost slipped over to the "we shouldn't spend that kind of money on worthless things while so many people right here in our backyard are freezing because they don't have a warm place to stay or are starving because they don't have food to eat" direction of talk. But I know the reality. If we didn't spend the money on the ads, the food, the game tickets, the hotel rooms, etc., we wouldn't be putting that money towards helping others out of the problems of their lives. We would just find something else to spend the money on. It is like the lottery of the states - it was supposed to help finance the schools. But with the billions that are put into the lottery, you would expect that we would have the absolutely best school system in the world. But we don't. We just shift money from education to other things and our education system still suffers from a lack of funding.
I sit back and think, "If only 1/2 of that amount of that which was spent by Christians on Super Bowl festivities was spent on the mission work of the Church, think of what could happen." The local churches wouldn't struggle. The mission churches wouldn't have to pinch pennies to make ends meet. There would be more than enough to take care of the needs of the homeless, the sick, and the hungry. But I am also a realist to know that even if that happened, we sinners would find some way of messing things up once again.
So should we stop having the Super Bowl? Nope. Should we cease having the Super Bowl party? No. That isn't what I would envision. (Though I would say to stop getting drunk at these parties because that isn't the life that our Lord wants for any of us. We shouldn't overeat either, for that is just as bad.) What I would encourage is that each of us would look at how much we spent on such things (whether it is the Super Bowl, the World Series or and of the other events that we make such big deals about in our lives) and think about how little it really makes a difference in this world. Then perhaps we might stop, reflect, pray and ask the Lord to guide us to support the work of our local church or mission in the same way. Give us a heart to be so excited about our time of worship, the time we spend in Bible Study and to give as much to the work of the Lord as we do the works of man in some game.
Then perhaps we will begin to see what a difference that just might make.