Preaching and the Packers

It was a lot of fun yesterday watching the Green Bay Packers defeat the Chicago Bears and qualify for a trip to the Super Bowl (especially because I was born in Chicago but grew up in Green Bay, just two miles from Lambeau Field.)

On a rare occasion in the past I would break into a sermon series to bring a special message because of something extraordinary happening in our community or in the world. Such was the case on the weekend after 9/11, or the eve of the war with Iraq. It just makes no sense to ignore something that has captivated the attention of everyone in your community. Back in January of 1997 when the Green Bay Packers were to play the championship Super Bowl game, I preached a one-off sermon on the topic “How to Have a Super Life.” I was really taken with the image of the joyful assembly in Hebrews 12. I had no sense whatsoever that this was letting sport dictate the ministry of the church. It just didn’t seem to make sense not to use a completely riveting event in the community as a teachable moment. Maybe the principle is this: when everybody in your community or in your nation is looking in the same direction, go ahead and stand in front of their eyeballs and say something meaningful. And we shouldn’t speak condescendingly. Championship games are a lot of fun. So take the energy and the fun and use it to add a higher perspective.

If you’re interested, the sermon outline is here. (Use if you want.)

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