Let me ask you to consider the message of the Superbowl to the world. Did you ever add up how much money is, directly and indirectly, involved in the Superbowl? Add the salaries of the players, the cost of security, and the physical construction of the stadium improvements made just for the Superbowl. There is also the cost of television, the travel expenses, the cost of commercials, and the list goes on. Those who have done the math tell us that the cost of the Superbowl is in the billions of dollars.
I have an African friend who has been working with drilling freshwater wells in Africa and finding relief for the starving families there. He tells me the message of the Superbowl is the fact that if the money spent could be redirected to providing aid in Africa, we could stop all of the suffering. We watch presidential candidates who must raise millions of dollars to get on the ballot. We can make similar comments about the entertainment industry and the salaries of movie stars and entertainment celebrities. How can we justify an entertainment figure making 50 million dollars a year while a policeman or teacher is making 50 thousand?
The answer to that question is that we can’t. Our society has drifted far from God. It’s only when something happens like the recent tragedy of Kobe Bryant’s death that we remember how fragile and tentative life can be. Tragedies like that jolt us to the fact that millions of dollars doesn’t matter when you die. But then the message of the Superbowl takes our mind off that fact.
Abraham Lincoln said in 1838, “If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author.” Columnist Georgie Ann Geyer has written, “I have come to the conclusion that it is impossible to have a moral community or nation without faith in God, because without it everything comes down to ‘me’ and ‘me’ alone is meaningless.” The French historian Alexis de Tocqueville wrote, “America is great because America is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” That was written 170 years ago, but can it be said about America today?
Here is a passage we should apply today: “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
— John N. Clayton © 2020
Data and quotes from Beyond Today, Special Edition, January 2020.