Well, the Super Bowl is over and with it all the hype around what some perhaps rightly call this nation’s “true” religion. A champion is crowned, record books are closed, trophies handed out and glory and honor ceremonies abound. But the one take away that I have from all of this hoopla, is that it seems that even the companies paying millions in advertising fees used the message of compassion, unity of humanity and social justice to put their brand out there. Ironically, those are the commercials which seemed to be the most controversial.
I believe the controversy arises when any movement or message lifts up the message of love for all humankind and for our earth because it stands in stark contrast to the Super Bowl itself and consequently, our national self image of winners and losers. Oh sure, football is a team sport, but so often the game seems to be about the outstanding play of one or two individuals who are lifted up as some kind of superhero. Conversely, the other thing highlighted are the mistakes that one or two players/coaches made that cost them the game. “Some gotta win, some gotta lose,” goes the old song.
But if we, who are called to be salt and light for the world, are going to shine, it is going to be when we continue to share and witness to God’s love for all people. We reveal God’s kingdom plan when we cease to accept any humanitarian system that perpetuates the world in terms of winners and losers, or them and us or even of “there is only so much to go around”. Feelings of nationalism are well and fine until they shut out the woman and child seeking refuge. Being patriotic is great, until it overrides our call to justice via the Gospel of Christ. In other words, we can be proud to live in this country, but to desire to “keep it to ourselves” or only for people who are “like us” goes against the very heart of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He came to save the world and to redeem all nations. So, let your light shine, everywhere. Because you ARE the light of the world.