I think this year the Super Bowl is almost a Holy Event, but not for the reasons you would think. It is not a because the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in the Super Bowl. It is not because Tom Brady is playing, and this is his 10th Super Bowl. Instead, it has to do with something that God said. In Exodus 20, God expands on one of the ten commandments explaining the importance of the Sabbath,
Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. (Exodus 20:8-11)
When I was a kid, I viewed the Ten Commandments as a good example of why it was no fun being a Christian. Rules, rules, rules. As an adult I eventually began to see God’s infinite love in His commandments that helps us to live successful lives and not implode in bad self-serving behavior. Yet the one commandment that always seemed a bit elusive for me was the one about Sabbath. When I was young, my family kept the Sabbath by not eating out, not going to the mall, and taking long boring car rides with my family. I remember the day my mom let me shop on a Sunday and I thought lightening might strike. I was so happy to shed those Sabbath laws that I never looked back.
That was a mistake. Sabbath was always a gift from God. It was an expression of God’s understanding of us as humans and his desire for us to thrive. It turns out that we as humans are good at working, good at getting all our chores done, good at going to all of our kids' games, good at staying really busy. We are not so good at slowing down and genuinely enjoying life. We have learned a bit about slowing through the pandemic. Many people have sworn that they will never let their lives get that busy again. What God always knew was that we needed a day each week like no other day. We needed a day to rest, play, to worship, to have friends over, eat good food, and set aside the burdens of the week.
That is what we can do on Super Bowl Sunday. I am particularly excited because my sister and her husband will be with us. She is an amazing cook so we will be feasting on outstanding food. I do hope the Buccaneers will win, but the true win will be the celebrating, eating, laughing, and setting aside all our cares and worries just for a little while. That is the gift of Sabbath.
Blessings to you this Friday,