Thoughts Before a Super Bowl

Posted: February 5, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I wasn’t really thinking about the Super Bowl today. I planned to watch it.  I love competition.  I like football.  It’s right up there with futbol and basketball.  🙂  And the Super Bowl is a cultural event for North America.  But I admit I wasn’t following the stories very closely this year.  The truth is that I like the Rams and the Packers….as well as some individual players and coaches – almost none of whom are on the Giants or Patriots team.  Once they were out, I focused on other things.

Oddly enough, out of nowhere, during communion this morning I started thinking about the Super Bowl.   I dearly love taking communion.  But believe me, distractions come….and it’s been worse than football sometimes!  🙂  Anyway, these thoughts came to me:

  • We love the Super Bowl because it seems bigger than life. And we want to be part of something that transcends the everyday.
  • We want the players to be bigger than life so that we can “encounter” (safe) adversity and “overcome” through them vicariously.
  • We love the storylines.  They help us believe that we too can be  a champion.
  • We love the commercials.  More than the game even, they call out to a place inside of us.  A place that loves beauty and excellence and creativity.  A place that is fearful at times.  A place that longs to be well thought of…and well taken care of…and if we are honest, in control.

Now I’m not hating.  In fact, in a few moments I will be heading to a Super Bowl party….and not as a wet blanket!  But during my communion rabbit trail this morning, I was struck by the contrast between the the annual “story” of the Super Bowl and the timeless story told in the ancient Christ hymn in Phillipians 2:3-11.

The Super Bowl narrative would tell us that we must consume to be happy, to be powerful, to be loved.  The Christ hymn gives us the model of One who emptied himself and became a servant.   The Super Bowl narrative tells of seeking to be #1.  The Christ hymn tells of One who was “in very nature God” but did not grasp at His position.  The Super Bowl narrative tells of happiness that lasts for a day (I think of John Elway staying in the stadium, not wanting to go home, knowing the feeling would never be the same again).  The Christ hymn tells of lasting honor coming through obedience and laying down our lives.

Dr. Autry was preaching this morning.  He said this: “It is almost unAmerican to speak against consumption.  After all, our economy is built on spending.  But….(God) didn’t call us to be consumers, spending our money and our lives pursuing more and more stuff.  He called us to be holy, sanctified by our worship of him, and devoted to his purposes in the world.  His purpose is to bless and heal the world through right relationships with God and one another.  We’re called to be part of that healing.”  Good word, Arden.  Thank you.

How do you do it?  How do you navigate the fun and celebration of the Super Bowl while choosing the narrative of the Christ hymn?   I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Comments
  1. Felice says:

    I’m reading a great book that discusses this very thing. Its title, Small Things with Great Love, almost answers your question. It focuses on the idea that we can live out Christ-like love in our day to day lives simply by choosing to invite the marginalize, the stranger, and the other into our activities. The way to live out the Christ hymn narrative in our Super Bowl celebrations is going to involve choosing to celebrate a little differently, choosing small acts of love that cross a few barriers.

    • halhamilton says:

      Felice, so true….simply to reframe our celebrations to be primarily about the people we can welcome would be a powerful act of transformation in our homes, churches, communities

  2. Jeff Blake says:

    So well spoken/written. I will share with several people on this morning after.

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