On Sunday, Super Bowl XLV set the record as the most watched American TV program at approximately 111 million people. Since there are about 311 million people living in the US, this means that over a third of our country was watching the big game. This event brought the series finale of M-A-S-H down to third place at 106 million. What was in 2nd place? It was last year’s Super Bowl. In fact, the 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th most watch programs are all Super Bowls (Huffingtonpost.com).
In many ways, the Super Bowl has become a national holiday. People everywhere are participating in this event. According to Hallmark Cards Inc., the Super Bowl is the number one at home party event of the year, even above New Year’s Eve. And when it comes to food consumption, the Super Bowl is second only to Thanksgiving (USA Today). Check these Super Bowl food consumption facts out (foodiegossip.com):
- The California Avocado Commission (CAC) projects that 13.2 million pounds or 26 million avocados will be consumed Super Bowl Sunday, mostly in the form of guacamole.
- Approximately 8 million pounds of popcorn will be consumed on Super Bowl Sunday.
- 28 million pounds of potato chips were expected to be consumed.
- During last year’s football championship game, more than 450 million wings (90 million lbs.) were consumed, according to the Washington, D.C.’s National Chicken Council.
- About 49.2 million cases of beer were consumed by Americans during last year’s Super Bowl.
Clearly the Super Bowl is one major event in this country. I think we could even call it an unofficial US holiday. Despite it’s popularity, there has always been a problem with the Super Bowl. It’s on Sundays, right in the middle of worship. Sadly, many churches’ attendance numbers take a major decline when worship takes place on some sort of holiday. The day of the Super Bowl is certainly no different. The question is, where were we during the Super Bowl?
Jesus said in Matthew 10:37-38, “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.” While Jesus used the example of family, His major point here is that nothing should come before God. Not family or anything else. So, what if we substituted the words “father and mother” for “the Super Bowl” or “Christmas” or some other holiday? Putting a holiday, the Super Bowl, or anything else before God is what Matthew 10:37-38 is trying teach us not to do.
I can’t think of the last time I missed a Super Bowl thanks to VCRs and DVRs. I love the Super Bowl. Participating in the Super Bowl and other holidays is not wrong. However, putting any of these activities before God is wrong. Why are we here on earth? What is our purpose in this life? Is it to celebrate holidays? Is it to have fun and watch the Super Bowl? We are here to fear God and keep His commandments (Ecclesiastes 12:13). God must be number one. The Super Bowl and other holidays are great, but may we never let them become more important than our Lord.