This past Sunday was the Lord’s Day. It has had that designation for over 1900 years. The Lord’s day holds a special place in my own heart and ministry. It is the day upon which God’s people are called together to worship Him corporately. We gather to sing, give, pray, proclaim God’s Word, and minister to the body of Christ. It is a glorious day for us. Though I look forward to every Lord’s Day, this past Lord’s Day was also our regular remembrance of the Lord’s Supper, which makes the day even more anticipated for us.
Our modern culture has also referred to one Sunday a year as “Super Bowl Sunday” a designation that is no more than 50 years old. This past Sunday, about 114 million people watched the Seahawks play the Patriots. It was the most watched television show in history. I, being a lifelong Seahawks fan, was able to watch the game at a friend’s house through his DVR (the best way ever to watch the game). And even though the Seahawks lost, it was an outstanding game to watch nonetheless.
My perspective on the game, though, has more to do with other aspects of it, besides the game itself. For instance, While I realize that many churches today have done away with their Sunday evening service altogether, I cringe at the thought of those churches who may have made some adjustments to cater to the Super Bowl hype. Here is an example of this, and here.
A church that moves its regularly scheduled service times in order to facilitate the Super Bowl has committed idolatry. Any Christian who chose to skip their normal evening service, or to attend an earlier evening service at another church in order to watch the game also committed an act of idolatry. God’s glory cannot be set aside for just one Sunday. He is due exclusive glory, a glory that no football game deserves.
This is not a rant against the Super Bowl game itself. I watched the game and enjoyed it. But as a pastor, I did not mention the game or anything associated with the game in our services; it had no place there. I do not want to mix the profane with the holy.
My concern is with the general state of the church as a whole. God’s people are imbibing the ungodliness of Canaan, and doing so under the guise of grace. God’s grace will never lead a Christian to place football above God. God’s Spirit will not persuade a Christian that it is permissible to miss “just one” Sunday night service in order to watch the game. While the church is very distinct from Israel, it is also mimicking in many ways the errors of Israel. They failed to be holy as God was holy; they failed to distinguish themselves from the world around them; they failed to worship Jehovah, and Him only.
I realize this is only one aspect of a deeper issue, but it is reflective of the greater need of the church that is expressed in places like Romans 13.
Romans 13:11-14, Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
May we as God’s people repent of our idolatrous ways, and put on Christ Himself, for the glory of God.