I live in football country. The Southeastern Conference reigns supreme on the gridiron of our hearts here. My wife is a born and bred Razorback. I root for Ole Miss. (Yes, I do admit it) I am a fan of the NFL. Football is just fun.
But lately I have been thinking it may be more. I see in many a dedication to their football team that- outwardly anyway- seems to be greater then even their commitment to their God. I know that is a strong statement. I realize that I am certainly no judge of hearts. But I also realize what I see.
I see such an amazing passion for the team and the game. I hear all kinds of animated conversations breaking down the last game or anticipating the next. Maybe folks speak this passionately about their relationship with Christ too, but not to me.
I see school colors proudly worn and displayed. (I have an Ole Miss tag on the front of my truck- still) Having “put on” Christ in baptism, do we “wear” his colors as prominently?
I see mass numbers filling up the multi-million dollars shrine/staduims each week. (Terri and I were in Tuscaloosa for the Tide-Hog game last Saturday. Talk about overflowing passion! Folks stood for most of the game. Try that one down at church!) Tens of thousands on Saturdays make the game. How many on Sundays make it to church?
I see the coaches and players being elevated to near idol-like status. (At least while they are winning) Super Bowl Sunday is now for all practical purposes the American holiday even almost outstripping Christmas in importance.
Could it be that we now worship at the foot of the goalposts? I have actually heard more than one person say that this- the football season- is the time of the year for which they live. Are we listening to ourselves?
You shall have no other gods before me.
Jehovah first said that centuries ago when pigskin was still just the flesh on a hog.
Have we now turned it into the idol of America?