It’s not uncommon for churches and youth groups to gather together for the big game. Some student ministries use it as an opportunity to serve others, while others make it a missional gathering one way or another.
This year’s game offered another opportunity… a rather unexpected one.
Putting it lightly, it wasn’t Denver’s night. That’s great news if you’re a Seattle fan, or salt-in-an-open-wound if you were cheering for the Broncos. Social media only amplified things, which may have even spilled into your party. You may have even found a tweet or two that resonated with you.
Another site captured some of the quick retorts various companies used to leverage the game’s slant in their favor.
The summary of the game on news sites took on its own slant. For example, USAToday.com ran the headline “Peyton Manning, Denver can’t recover from Super Bowl mistakes.”
Really? That’s a powerful statement – “can’t recover.”
Granted, it was just a sports summary. We’re used to these types of post-game comments from 24-hour news outlets looking for yet another way to spin the game.
Still, might we need to seize this as a teaching moment?
- How many teenagers (and adults, for that matter) have had moments where everything they planned to go one way ended up going another? What does the concept of “can’t recover” say to them, even subliminally?
- When everyone at your church-sponsored-party was laughing at the first snap of the game that went over Peyton Manning’s head, did your guests take away a message of “works” or “grace?” Did you consider the kid who was sitting there because he hates being at home where his dad constantly berates him? How about the girl who never measures up against her more poised peers? What about the grown-up who gets bullied at work for poor performance just like the old high school days?
- As the game ended up lopsided and every camera shot of the Broncos displayed their depression, was the conversation at your party, “Must stink to be them,” or did you stop a moment and say, “Let’s pray for those guys… for their spirits… for how Monday will feel to them and their families. Sound good?”
It’s ironic – you may have preached “Come as you are. God loves you just as you are.” on Sunday morning… yet promoted “IN YOUR FACE!” on Sunday night. Sure, it’s common… but might there be something more “Jesus-centered” you can foster?
Politics aside (let me say that again – politics aside), consider a pre-game quote from President Obama: “I try to focus not on the fumbles but on the next play.”
Admittedly, I didn’t claim all of these opportunities myself.
That said, is there still a teaching moment for the Super Bowl that you can instill in others today?