Did you know that you are not allowed to use the word “Superbowl” without the expressed written permission of the NFL? They want royalties I suppose and I’m sure they want to protect their brand from unwanted advertisements. Well since I make no money blogging (in fact, I had to buy my own domain name) and since I’m claiming that the Superbowl is more exciting than its only competitor (churches that still have an “evening service”), I figure the NFL will leave me and my hundred-or-so blog readers alone. But if an NFL official does come knocking at your door don’t worry, the maximum fine they can give you for a first offense is a 4 game suspension.
Now let me tell you something, I love going to church. I look forward to it. I’m not just saying that. You might figure pastors have to say this, but I truly would work just as much at my church even if I didn’t get paid (and if someone reads my title without reading the article, that might just happen.) There’s honestly nothing I’d rather do. I’ve heard sermons in church as far back as the 20th Century where a pastor would say something to the effect of “Why don’t we get as excited about church as we do about a football game!?!” (I grew up in a Baptist church, so maybe my more charismatic brothers and sisters heard the opposite growing up, like “Can everyone please keep the commotion down to college football hysteria levels please… it’s getting out of hand in here.”) Well, besides the fact that over two-thirds of Americans don’t watch football at all in a given year, I think it’s a weak argument to analyze our reactions in church with our reactions at a football game. You’re comparing apples and lug nuts. They’re not similar. I don’t think Jesus wants more shirtless men with letters on their chests that spell out N-A-Z-A-R-E-T-H IS #1. I don’t think Jesus wants kids walking around in fake facial hair with shirts on that read: “Fear the Beard.” I highly doubt that Jesus wants deacons leaping into the aisles making the First Down symbol every time the pastor reads a new verse followed by spiking their Bibles on the ground once the preacher closes in prayer. This is crazy talk. We can love church, love the studying of God’s Word, love the prayer, fellowship, and worship while being visibly more excited watching the Superbowl and STILL be a good Christian. Here’s why the Superbowl is more exciting than church (for me.)
1) I Don’t Know Who Wins the Superbowl
When I wrote this blog, I didn’t know who was going to win the ultimate title of Superbowl L Champion (notice that none of the logos this year have the Roman numeral L on it, they all say “50.”) Will it be the Denver Peyton Mannings or the Carolina Cam Newtons? That’s what we love about sports. Anything can happen. Anyone can win on any given Sunday. At the same time, when I wrote this blog, I know exactly who wins the title of Master of the Universe. That’s King Jesus! He’s gonna go all Revelation on this earth and everyone in it. He is going to be the ultimate champion. My favorite team right now is my fantasy roster, and we already won the church league championship (Go GIJoe’s!), but if I actually had a favorite team, I would occasionally record their big games and watch them after the fact. I already knew who was going to win (thanks a lot Facebook), but I still could get a huge kick out of a big hit or great catch. The same level of visible excitement isn’t there, because all the stress is gone. I know we’ve won (I love football fans’ choice of pronouns.) I’m not on the edge of my seat wondering if Jesus is going to defeat Satan and the other deathly hallows of this world. I know He does it.
2) Something Unexpected Always Happens at the Superbowl
There’s always a late flag, a bonehead play, a dropped pass, or a fumble!!! that changes the course of a game. That’s why during the Superbowl you have to already have done your pregame bathroom session and laid out all your snacks so that you don’t have to unload or reload until the always disappointing half-time show. (Normally you can do such things at the commercial breaks, but you just can’t miss one of the two or three actual funny commercials that play during the Superbowl.) Sports are filled with the unexpected and football especially so. You know one way I don’t describe God anymore – “unexpected.” I expect Him to do amazing stuff. When God makes a promise He keeps it. When everything seems hopeless, I expect God to “show up” and do something incredible. I’m not saying I don’t get pumped when God literally changes someone’s life, because I do. It just doesn’t surprise me anymore. God’s so amazing all the time.
3) There’s Someone to Root Against at the Superbowl
More often than not, there are people I don’t like in the Superbowl. I am more rooting for them to lose than for the other team to win. Sports hate makes the games way more exciting and complicated. You’ll notice that no one ever sports hates the 3rd string kick-off coverage guy. No, you sports hate people like Tom Brady Ray Lewis, and Derek Jeter. They’re superstars on and off the field and so we pretend to hate them (because secretly we would love to hang out with them sometime.) Jesus doesn’t have a worthy competitor. Jesus, in His First Coming no less, took on the undefeated challengers of Sin & Death. It barely took Jesus 3-snaps to absolutely wipe the floors with those chumps. If you look at Satan, he seems pretty powerful, because well, he is; unless you are comparing him to Jesus. Right when it’s Satan vs. Jesus then it’s over. Satan is not even worth hating because he’s such a non-factor. I’m sure the Texas state championship high school football team is great and all, but even if the worse team in the NFL played them, the score would be as outlandish as the professional team wanted it to be. Jesus can defeat the Devil any time, anywhere. Jesus can do whatever He wants, however He wants to do it.
4) We’re Still in the Half-time Show, right?
If Jesus kicked-off the world at Creation, then it seems like Abraham was the start of the Second quarter with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ coming right before half-time. The first half recap was Lucifer’s Sin & Death team scored a quick seven on the opening kickoff return, but then Jesus scored an infinity while on the cross putting the game out of reach. But there’s still another whole half of football after the half-time show staring an ensemble of nobodies. That’s where I feel like we’re at. I think we’re the musical group that show up after the Rolling Stones finish up their set and the NFL wants to seem “relevant” so they get some up-and-coming rapping-duo that no one has heard of to finish out the rendition to a once classic song. I believe this is half-time and Jesus is just waiting to come bursting out the tunnel at the end of this extended commercial break. He is going to get the crowd pumped-up for the start of the second half. That is going to be nuts! The fans of Jesus are going to be cheering off the chain! I know I will be. And just like all the greats, Jesus has His haters. He’s going to call them all on the field. He’s going to tell us to give Him the ball and stand behind Him. Then Jesus is going to pull off the greatest play since the Little Giants went for the Annexation of Puerto Rico. Jesus is going for the long foretold Armageddon at Megiddo. It will literally put the other team’s captain in a coma for the whole 4th quarter. When he finally wakes up, he’ll try to mount one more offensive, but then Satan will figure-out what we already know… it’s over bro. Game over! Let’s hit the eternal after-party. Disney World is for kids. “I’m going to Heaven!”
Now that’s worthy of excitement.
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