Sunday, February 6, 2011 – 6:30pm ET on FOX…No, this isn’t an ‘official’ holiday, but it is officially estimated that there will be well over 170 million viewers from 200 countries around the globe.
(Side note: I’m trying to paint a mental picture of what a Super Bowl party might look like in say, Switzerland, where it is illegal for men to go to the bathroom after 10 pm…)
The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers face off for a much-anticipated smash mouth football battle that should be one for the ages. Big Ben vs. Aaron Rodgers—or is that Steve Carrel with a beard???
I have a hunch…just a slight hunch, mind you…that the boys from Blitzburg are going to come at the Green and Gold like a spider monkey on
steroids performance enhancers. Sorry Cheeseheads…just callin’ it like I sees it.
I also have a hunch that you will either host or attend the great American event known as the Super Bowl Party where a collective 10 billion dollars total coin will be spent and 80 million pounds of guacamole will be consumed.
That’s one grande avocado!
One thing that I’ve noticed over my years of being a part of the Big Game celebration is that there are some interesting parallels between the types of people who attend the party and the types of Christians in the world. Picture in your mind the last Super Bowl party you were a part of—and see if you agree.
First, there are the Curious.
The Curious are those who don’t know football from foosball, but they want to hang out with friends, get free food, and watch the commercials. You can spot the Curious as the ones who are trying to learn about the game while the rest of us are WATCHING IT! If this is you…*pleeeeze* look up ‘American Football’ on Wikipedia before the game.
Then there are the Called.
These are the true football fans who know that you don’t wear a jersey to the party from a team who isn’t playing in the game. The Called know the point spread, who is injured, and logged at least one hour reading about or watching the pre-game profundity.
The Called are studied up and psyched up for what they hope will be an exciting match up.
So are you seeing the parallels? Like the Super Bowl, there is an even bigger battle being played out on the stage of the universe between two foes:
“Yes, I am sending you to the Gentiles [unbelievers] to open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God’s people, who are set apart by faith in me” (Acts 26:17-18).
This is the calling and the “match up” God has placed on every Christian. But this is no game, and the stakes are the highest in the universe. We are the warriors in the battle between the power of Satan and the power of God, and when we are victorious, people find forgiveness and the promise of eternal life in heaven.
But unfortunately and sadly, there are many Christ followers—too many in fact—that I would call ‘the curious.’ They love the parts of Christianity that include hanging out with others and being entertained at church, but they don’t really understand what’s happening on the big screen of the world. In the background of our chit chats and life’s activities is darkness in combat with light, but the curious are content to simply cheer for their team.
Praise God, many of you are the called. You are consumed with loyalty to your Savior, which is why you are not content to be an observer. You understand that life is so much more than what we can see with our eyes, and that despite what others might say, our real purpose for being on this planet is to bring victory to God’s Kingdom of Light by sharing the gospel and loving him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.
So when you think of the Big Game…don’t forget about The Biggest Struggle, which is a fight that can’t simply be observed out of curiosity. You are called to be a key player in the advancement of God’s rule and reign on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Are you ready for Game Day?
Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action
Talk to your youth pastor about hosting a Super Bowl Party at someone’s house or host your own. Use the party as an outreach to invite your unsaved friends and begin the spiritual conversation with them.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand(Ephesians 6:12-13).
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ(2 Corinthians 10:4-5).
“Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of deatha light has dawned.” From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near”(Matthew 4:15-17).