One of America’s biggest cultural events will occur on Sunday evening, drawing more than 100 million people to their televisions for the final matchup of the NFL season. But what does it mean to watch this game as a Christian?
“The Super Bowl, at the end of the day, is mainly entertainment – and of course it's a livelihood and a job for those people, and it can bring communities together," says Jeff Kemp, former NFL quarterback. "But it doesn't change lives; it doesn't heal a marriage; it doesn't pass on a legacy inside of a son or a daughter."
So what can you do this weekend to strengthen your faith, or encourage faith conversations with those around you?
Here’s a quick list of 6 things every Christian should do sometime this weekend.
1. Say a prayer.
Despite helmets and padding, football can still be very dangerous. Pray against injuries. Pray for the fans, both those traveling to the game in New Jersey and those traveling to viewing parties. Pray that they would be safe and make wise decisions. Also pray against any human trafficking that could happen during the weekend.
2. Pray for and watch the Super Bowl Breakfast.
The breakfast is an NFL-sanctioned event hosted by Athletes in Action on Friday morning. Aaron Rogers will receive the Bart Starr award for leadership and character.
Pray that the weather will not cause an issue for those attending. You can purchase the webcast of the breakfast to view anytime during the weekend. Consider watching it with friends before the game.
This 15-minute film highlights Seattle Seahawks players explaining what it means to be a champion.
Bonus: Watch this interview with several Seahawk’s players.
4. Men: Attend or host a Stepping Up event.
(Women, tell the men in your life about this.)
70,000 men have gone through Stepping Up in its first year of release. The program is based on principles found in the book Stepping Up: A Call to Courageous Manhood by Dennis Rainey. It includes group interaction and personal reflections from top Christian leaders such as Dennis Rainey, Tony Dungy, Robert Lewis and Matt Chandler to help men strengthen their courage, character, love and leadership skills.
(Note: many of the events are on February 1, but some are scheduled later, even in March.)
5. Share these Super Bowl players' testimonies.
- Short radio interview with Broncos’ Peyton Manning
- Seahawks’ Chris Maragos
- Seahawks’ Clinton McDonald
6. Remember that it’s just a game.
Don’t get too caught up in the hype that you act poorly or hurt a friendship. This is a great entertaining event, but it’s not your whole life. And remember that you don’t have to watch it if you don’t want to.
What are your Super Bowl plans? How would you suggest letting Christ shine through the event?
Let us know your ideas below.