Super Bowl Sunday is upon us. I'm sure it will be another thrilling match-up. All will have prepared well, sparing no expense in terms of time and effort. The stakes are high; the competition is fierce; and the whole world will be watching…. And, no, I’m not talking about the game itself, but rather the Super Bowl commercials!
I have to admit, I enjoy watching Super Bowl commercials. We all have our favorites or most memorable ones from over the years. But among them all, for me, none have really equaled the uplifting quality of a 2014 Duracell Battery commercial that featured Derrick Coleman of the Seattle Seahawks. Do you remember that one? In only sixty seconds it tells the story of how at a young age, Derrick lost his hearing, was bullied as a result, was picked last for teams, was harassed by coaches, and was not even drafted by the NFL. And then comes the signature line, when Coleman says, “Everybody told me to quit. They told me it was over. But I’d been deaf since I was three, so I didn’t listen.” The last scene is of Coleman entering the Super Bowl arena and saying, “And now I’m here, with a lot of fans cheering me on, and I can hear them all.” (Followed, naturally, by the tagline across the screen: Duracell: Trust Your Power.) You can watch the commercial in the attached video below.
The commercial is so wonderful because it creates a sense of possibility, potential, empowerment, and freedom. Derrick’s story of living into the person he felt he was meant to be, against great odds to boot, inspires us because we hope that’s our story, too.
As much as I love that commercial, I’d like to think we might get that feeling in places other than Duracell commercials. At home from supportive parents or spouse. At work from good colleagues. On the athletic field from coaches and teammates. At school from caring teachers and friends. And obviously, at church from fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
My ongoing prayer (and dream) for our church is that it too, provides a place of possibility, potential, empowerment, and freedom, where each of us can safely live into the person we feel we are created to be. This takes each of us to make happen. Are you contributing to creating such space for others in your words and actions? Are you benefiting from such space as a result of other's words and actions? The old football cliché is that "it takes teamwork to make the dream work." You're on the team. Contribute to the dream. While Duracell might tell us to "trust our power", I remind you to "trust God's power."
Many of us have heard of Vince Lombardi, the legendary football coach of the Green Bay Packers. He’s the coach the Super Bowl Trophy was named after - The Lombardi Trophy. Lombardi was known to do one thing before every football game. He would take a football in his hand, hold it up before all the players and pronounce, “Men, this is a football.” His goal each and every game was to remind his players of their purpose, stating "The game requires, and starts with a football."
As you prepare to the watch the big game (and commercials) this Sunday, be reminded of your purpose - that requires, and starts with Your Church - your Community of Faith.
See you in Church! (and bring a friend!)