Go for something really, truly super on Super Sunday

Even if you are not a football fan, you know: Tomorrow is Super Bowl XLIV.

In January 1967, when the Green Bay Packers beat the Kansas City Chiefs, no one called it “Super Bowl I.”

It was “The A.F.L.-N.F.L. World Championship Game.”

The Roman numerals came after the third Super Bowl, from a suggestion by Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt.

Hunt also coined “Super Bowl.” He recalled: “My own feeling is that it probably registered in my head because my daughter, Sharron, and my son, Lamar Jr., had a children’s toy called a Super Ball.”

It stuck.

The “super” moniker is somewhat fitting. The game has become far more than a game, but a super-event, with ...

n a halftime concert featuring the likes of Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen and U2,

n an orgy of gambling,

n gobs of inventive television advertising, and

n more national impact, arguably, than other events nearby on the calendar, such as Martin Luther King Jr. Day or Presidents’ Day.

But is the Super Bowl sincerely “super”?

For Jesus’ sake, when it comes to the most-watched sporting event in America:

n Teach your kids that men who play pro football have a life expectancy less than the average American male.

n Don’t glamorize or idolize men.

Instruct your children, likewise. Help them see that a fireman or someone providing relief in Haiti is far more exemplary than the average athlete or singer.

Teach godly children to admire godly adults (athletes and singers, too).

Why? God says an upright person is generous and truthful. Such a person does his neighbor no wrong, but despises a vile man, and honors those who revere the Lord (see Psalms 15 and 37).

n Work and pray, so none dear to you hurt themselves or others with gambling. Please.

n If you follow Christ, be patient, forgiving and kind to others, in thanks for Jesus’ blood-bought mercy. One thing sincerely super is love.

n Look forward, too, to life with God in glory — life face to face with God.

n Trust only in God’s Son. He died for you. Now he lives and reigns. Soon he’ll reappear.

n Rejoice and be glad, above all, in his rescue (see Isaiah 25:9).

God’s free gift of eternal life is something sincerely super.

Rev. Daniel A. Witte, pastor of Risen Savior Lutheran Church, can be reached at 747-5564. For more information, see Faith Matters is a regular feature of Saturday’s Herald, written by local clergy members.