Super Bowl Sunday
"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad."1
Sunday is Super Bowl Football Sunday in the U.S.A. and, at least a couple of years ago, media people claimed it would be televised to 186 countries in 18 languages! Thus, on Sunday millions of people around the world will be glued to their TV set watching a bunch of hefty men throw a leather ball filled with air, catch it and run—and belt the stuffing out of each other while they're at it—and get paid unbelievable mega-dollars for doing it!
Apparently major sports events are not only a health hazard for the players, but also for viewers. An issue of the British Medical Journal reported that on the day in June of 1996 when the Dutch team was knocked out of the European football championship, there was a 50% increase in heart attacks of men—not women! They said it was probably caused, not only by the emotional stress of screaming and hollering when your team is either winning or losing, but at the same time consuming too much alcohol and fatty foods!
Super Bowl parties with friends can be lots of fun, but what boggles the mind are the things we value most in today's society. Sports for millions is almost a religion! In fact, According to Wikipedia, "Super Bowl Sunday is the second-largest day for U.S. food consumption, after Thanksgiving Day. In most years, the Super Bowl is the most-watched American television broadcast; Super Bowl XLIV, played in February 2010, became the most-watched American television program in history, drawing an average audience of 106.5 million viewers."2
As Chuck Colson stated, "Every once in a while, events line up in a way that allows us to see things as they really are. [An] example was the deaths of Princess Diana and Mother Teresa within a week of each other. The juxtaposition of the hype and hysteria over the jet-setter, Diana, and the muted response to the death of Mother Teresa gave us a glimpse into how shallow and empty our culture truly is."3
I'm not against sports—except about some of the "obscene" pay scales—in some professional sports, which, again, shows where today's values are (at least in the West). Pity school teachers and those who are making an impact on our society that they aren't given more recognition and appreciation.
Having said this, for Christians our values are not here on earth (hopefully) but in heaven where God keeps the books and gives rewards—rewards that are eternal! We won't be judged for our sins because Christ accepted that judgment for us on the cross, but we will be judged and rewarded according to our faithfulness in loving and serving God.
If only we Christians were as enthusiastic about reaching as many people around the world with the gospel as will be reached with football this Sunday!
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, it is so easy for some of us, including me, to get caught up in the values of this world. Help me to always remember that this life is temporal and to live with eternal values in mind. Gratefully, in Jesus' name. Amen."
1. 2 Corinthians 5:10 (NIV).
2. Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Bowl
3. BreakPoint, Chuck Colson. Copyright (c) 2001 by Prison Fellowship Ministries. Reprinted with permission. BreakPoint with Chuck Colson is a radio ministry of Prison Fellowship Ministries.