Super Bowl Sunday. It’s here. Most of us will be watching. Yes, it’s the game that is the culmination of the long NFL season where remaining team will be crowned this year’s best. But its so much more than that. For four to five hours beginning early this evening, viewers will be showered with a series of cultural moments and artifacts that are not neutral and benign, but rather a window into who we are as a culture. You and I will be hammered with a fast-paced stream of messages telling us who we are, what we are to believe, where meaning and purpose can be found, and ultimately what life is all about. Tonight, we will see how we as a culture have chosen to make sense of the world and how to live out our place in it.
Like everyone else, I’m looking forward to seeing a good game. But can I encourage you to watch more deeply? And, for those of you who will be with kids – at home and at youth group Super Bowl parties – can I encourage you to put on your world-and-life-view “thinking caps” in order to watch more deeply with biblically-informed discernment? Watch the game, listen to the commentary, pay attention to the commercials, and pay attention to what happens during the halftime show.
Of course, I will continue to recommend using the free download of “Super Bowl Ad Filtering Questions” which we have put together for use in home and youth group again this year. But I would also encourage you to encourage those watching with you to spot, think about, and talk about glory-seeking. Let me explain. . .
I was reminded of our need to engage in thinking about “glory-seeking” this morning as I read today’s entry in Alistair Begg’s Truth for Life devotional. (We’ve got a group of folks reading this together over on Facebook: CPYU Together In The Word. . . and you’re welcome to join!).
This morning, Begg reminds us that we are all on a search to discover our ultimate reality and purpose. What is it that keeps us from discovering our reality and purpose? And, when we do discover it (by God’s grace), why do we so often forget that reality and purpose? The answer is simple: sin. We are at our core a rebellious people who seek our own personal glory rather the glory of our Creator. I do it. You do it. We all do it. Therefore, we need to be consciously and continually aware that this is the case.
Begg includes question and answer 1 from The Westminster Shorter Catechism: “What is the chief end of man? To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” Seems like that’s worth repeating and preaching to ourselves multiple times a day. . . certainly every time we hop on social media!
If you’re familiar with Paul Tripp, you know that he often talks about how we are all “glory junkies” and “glory addicts”. . . our own personal glory that is. Remember, we are all glory seekers and givers. We need to habitually ask the Lord to recalibrate our hearts away from ourselves and toward Him. Seeking glory is not the issue. We’ve been made for that. The issue is that we seek glory for ourselves rather than for Him.
That said, here’s a little exercise for those of you who will be watching the Super Bowl today: Make note of how and in what direction glory-seeking is expressed in the game, in the commercials, during the half-time show, etc. Point it out. Think about it. Talk about it. Learn from it!
“For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.” (Romans 11:36).