Every year millions of people gather around televisions to watch the Super Bowl. The first time I ever watched it was on my tenth birthday in 1974. I was full of excitement since the Minnesota Vikings was one of the teams playing for the Vince Lombardi Trophy. That morning at Sunday school, the teacher noticed my zeal for the big game. In front of the whole class he asked me, “Which is more important…church or football?”
Without hesitation I replied, “Football.”
My dad scolded me when he later found out about this. Back then I didn’t see any benefit in going to church. We attended a traditional institution that gave me wrong perceptions of Christianity (it would be another 17 years before I realized how real God is).
The Vikings ended up losing Super Bowl VIII to the Miami Dolphins. It would be their second of four Super Bowl losses during the 1970s. My favorite team hasn’t returned to the big game in almost 40 years. I would like to see the Vikings win it at least once before the Lord returns.
Meanwhile, the Super Bowl has become like a national holiday in America. While I worked for Billy Graham’s World Wide Pictures during the late 1990s, pastors often picked a Sunday night service to show one of our evangelistic films. I advised them not to do so on Super Bowl Sunday. Most nonbelievers would prefer watching the game instead of going to church to see a movie.
On a related note, it’s interesting to point out the largest crowd ever gathered at the now-defunct Metrodome (where the Vikings used to play) was not for a sporting event but a Billy Graham Crusade. I was one of those in attendance that Sunday night.
When I do watch the Super Bowl, one thing I don’t care for is all the hype and commercialism surrounding the game. I wish more Christians showed that level of enthusiasm for getting the gospel out. After all, our Savior won the ultimate victory for us on a more important Super Sunday.
“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” - 1 Corinthians 15:57