This Sunday much of the country is obsessed with the Super Bowl, the playoff of pro football champions. It happens every year about this time. The media is abuzz with the hype and sports talk concerning the two teams. Superstar players and their personal lives become the topic of newscasts and office talk. Speculation and predictions occupy the time waiting the outcome of the annual event. Workplace betting pools collect cash and scores as fans forecast the outcome of the big game.
The television advertisements aired during the Super Bowl game attract almost as much attention as the game itself. Ingenuity and sometimes brash offense characterize the high-priced seconds of advertisements. In a market where minutes are broken down in million dollar increments, the ads are refined and perfected to grab the attention of the viewer in a desperate attempt to rivet attention between the plays of the game. The advertisers are also betting on the water cooler buzz and talk show chatter to repeat the impact of the precious seconds of product promotion.
Even some churches give in to the pressure to cater to the sports crazed crowd. They host Super Bowl worship events where they watch the game in the family center and plan a few testimonies and worship choruses during the half-time show. Perhaps that is one way to assure a crowd on this annual sacred sports Sunday. I wonder if they censure the advertisements? It seems a little ironic if they play the commercials for alcohol in the place of worship. How does Budweiser fit in the format for a Christian fellowship event? What do they do when a sexually suggestive spot is featured on the big screen just prior to a testimony of God’s grace? I noticed that Victoria’s Secret will have a spot late in the third quarter. That ought to be edifying.
Maybe I’m a bit old-fashioned in my view of what is appropriate for church, but there must be a distinction between the holy and the profane, between worship and entertainment, and between what is sacred and what is secular. If you are into the sport go ahead and root for your team, but don’t expect to find a big screen set up at our church for the worship session!