It is, without a doubt, the biggest national (and possibly international) secular holiday there is. It’s much bigger than Christmas and Easter. We LOVE Super Bowl Sunday even though many of us say we hate hype. On Super Bowl Sunday, we are hype-sters.
We gather friends and family in front of the big-screen in our entertainment centers with a repast reminiscent of King’s Festival on GOT. We glue ourselves to the TV to watch fav singers and dancers perform at half time. We rate commercials – some of which are entered into award competitions. And we drool over the over-paid athletes with bad reputations that we love to hate who wrack their bodies to give us what we came for: entertainment.
Yep, Super Bowl Sunday is fun. I go to those parties. But I’m cynical too. Aren’t you? Here’s what I think it’s about.
It’s about IDENTITY.
For those born after 1967, planning the Super Bowl gathering for first Sunday in February is what we’ve always done. Even if we do not have a team in the race we become part of something much bigger than ourselves as we celebrate with people all over the world doing the same thing as us. Connecting with a power beyond us impacts how we feel about ourselves.
That’s the connecting point. Some churches project the game onto their big sanctuary screen and invite regulars and their guests. Maybe they want to show how cool the church can be. That’s probably not going to harm you, but it is probably also not the point. The way to connect with the emerging population right outside your church’s doors would be to preach a sermon series on the human search for self-esteem.
Give church-goers an invitation tool that says something like, Winners and Losers: How not to let the Super Bowl Define your Self- Worth. Then preach about what it means to give over your identity to Christ and how doing that makes you much more you than you ever were before you let go of you. People will grasp how that works because they give over their identity at least one time per year when they’re cheering for one team or another in their affinity group (that is connected with numerous affinity groups doing the same thing all over the world).
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