The big day has come and gone. One team won and one team lost. One brother is happy; the other is disappointed. One set of parents is happy for both sons; we love you whether you win or loose. The Super Bowl is a yearly phenomenon where people gather to watch a game with grown men in tights trying to maim each other. It is interesting even some of the helmets look like gladiator helmets of old. One writer said, “The Romans loved sports, some of which were quite brutal and bloody. Chariot racing and gladiator battles were fixtures of religious festivals. The huge crowds that gathered in stadiums and forums to watch sporting events screamed " panem at Colosseum !" ("bread and circuses"). Events were often sponsored by wealthy citizens as displays of their wealth.” All this is done for a prize with the name Vince Lombardi on it. This is the trophy awarded each year to the winning team of the National Football League's championship game, the Super Bowl. Then they start all over and try again the next year. This is the same in every sport.
    Yesterday at church I made a comment tongue in cheek but woke up today bothered by the truth of the matter. Our church is praying for revival and we are starting a prayer meeting, possibly on Sunday nights. I said “we could start tonight but that might be cruel as there is some sort of game on tonight.” Even though I made light of it, today it has hit me that it is no joking matter. The love of sport is idolatry in our country. I was reading a blog today and the writer was talking about how we as a church should embrace the Super Bowl as our culture does so that we can be missional and relevant. The bottom line is it is a game where billions of dollars are wasted. It is not just football but Nascar, golf, hockey etc. This weekend the winner of a golf tournament wins over a million dollars for playing golf; that’s insane.
    History shows us that when revival comes the bars closed, brothels (strip clubs) empty and the culture is changed. Not that I am a betting man but I would be willing to bet that our Canadian culture with its addictions to hockey, and the American cultures with its addiction to football and Nascar etc. would be turned upside down. I am amazed at how the church now calls our addictions something we need to be part of. We call it missional. The old slogan if you can’t beat them join them should not apply to the church. I was curious one time and went to a church that had a Super bowl party. Free food, big screen- awesome, or was it? The name of Jesus was never mentioned; the king of kings was replaced with the King of Beers and commercials, cheerleaders, all shown on the big screen. All this so we could show the world we are just like you are. Is it wrong to watch these games, I do not believe so but it is wrong to lower our standards to be like the world. I do believe Paul’s word in 1 Corinthians does not mean he becomes like the world to win the world. He does not become a male prostitute to win a male prostitute, he does not turn gay to win a homosexual. You have to be very careful with Paul’s writings. The church never lowers it’s standard to win the world, in fact it raises them to win the world.
    The prize we are running for does not have man’s name on it. Philippians 3:14 “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
    So the Super Bowl albeit fun to watch should never dictate whether we have prayer meeting. So yes this is no joking matter. As it is, it is hard enough to get people to give up anymore of their time to come to prayer meeting, so asking people to miss a super bowl or and episode of a reality show may just be pushing the envelope a little too much. It will be interesting to see where the importance level of some of these events end up after a revival.