According to a pastor friend of mine, today the NFL stands for No Friend Left. As you know, today is the annual national holiday known as Superbowl Sunday. People will be scrambling to find a place and a seat to watch the most over-hyped sporting event in the world. And sense it is on a Sunday, churches and Christians will seek to take advantage of the world's preoccupation with "the game." My above-mentioned friend told me that this year his church is calling today NFL Sunday, or as he put it, No Friend Left Sunday. He has instructed his parishioners to invite all their friends and family to church on this Sunday with the service being themed around the Superbowl and with the goal of evangelizing them with the effort. He informed me that he would be preaching a sermon on "The Game of Life."
While I applaud his desire to reach the lost, I fail to see how encouraging the saved to engage in worldly thinking on Sunday morning is a good means of reaching this ends. You see, the challenge for the Christian is not knowing how to think worldly and mundane thoughts. That is easy to do. The challenge is to somehow get our minds trained on things above and not on things below. The church and the preacher is to be a primary instrument in the facilitation of this challenge. For the past two weeks our minds have been bombarded with Superbowl propaganda. When we come to church should we receive more of the same? Or should there be a marked difference between the place where football is king and worshipped (namely the world) and the place where Christ is king and worshipped (namely the church)?
Don't get me wrong. I am not against the Superbowl. Let people have their Superbowl and the propaganda that goes along with it. Let people enjoy the hype and festivities that accompany "the game." And may the game be competitive and entertaining. However, when it comes to Sunday morning as we gather to corporately worship our God and Savior, let us leave the temporal and the mundane and let us set our mind on things above and remind each other that we are seated with Christ in the heavenlies. Let those who come to be with us recognize that our minds are not being conformed to the propaganda, but are being renewed and that there is a distinct, unmistakable difference between the worship in the Kingdom of God and the worship in the kingdom of this world.
All week the world has said this is Superbowl Sunday. When the church of Jesus Christ gathers let us tell the truth. This is a day that the Lord has made. This is the Lord's Day. Let us rejoice and be glad in him.