The Gospel According to Velveeta: Anticipating Super Bowl Sunday

Orange food group

It’s Super Bowl week. Duh. If you live in America, you know this.

Many people look forward to watching football. Others look forward to watching ads. Reflecting on what non-football fans like about Super Bowl Sunday (the football fans’ interest being obvious), I have been perusing the newspaper circulars with anthropologic focus, trying to mine the secrets of America’s Super Bowl habits.

Giant grocery has a few oranges and apples thrown in with the fat food group, which is at the bottom of the Super Bowl food pyramid (“Eat plenty of these!”). You can buy a 128 oz. jug of Crisco oil for $5.99 and drink it with a straw or you can decide to actually chew or slurp, in which case you should move right to the Tostitos/Cheez-it/mayonnaise food group. Or buy a hunk of cheddar or a mega-block of Velveeta and make your own queso and nachos concoctions. Frozen pizza is offered, as are Italian links, brats and pork chops. The surprise entries are Tilapia, Weight Watchers Smart Ones dess
erts and a 10-ounce can of Espresso. Those are for the weird relatives who will spend Sunday evening upstairs alone.

Red plastic party cups will hold Coke products by the silo-load, and beer will not go missing.

Did you know that Super Bowl Sunday is the second biggest food consumption day of the year (with Thanksgiving winning, of course)? 55 million dollars is spent on food for the big game, with many people thinking that “pigskin” relates to the groaning board, not the gridiron.

We take our orange-colored food consumption seriously. Americans work hard, with the concept of Sabbath having fallen pretty far out of favor. We are IMPORTANT. We can’t just stop, or someone might find out that our work — and by extension, we ourselves — are expendable. So when we do stop to collectively do something fun (like watch the Super Bowl), we go all out. We throw all restraint to the wind. We eat with impunity. We yell at the top of our lungs. We are a people desperate for a party, as evidenced by our national craving for processed cheese.

Yes, I’m laughing — for I’m a fake food lover who can dip my Fritos with the best of ’em. But I’m also a little sad when I think about how much of our pleasure is a cheap substitute for real life, for life lived following Jesus’ ways. We are all invited into real sabbath, real delight. God offers us rest, living water, adventure, engagement, the greatest stories… everything a hedonist could want.

I love Psalm 63. In it David is lusting after more of God… that’s the best word for it, “lusting.” In verse 5 he says, “I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.” Other tastes don’t satisfy ultimately.

I’ve been accused of having a spiritual answer for everything. That’s because I believe, well, that there’s a spiritual answer for everything. That nothing is outside God’s providence, that nothing exists apart from the bigger story God has written, is writing, with our lives. So moving from Velveeta to the gospel is a normal progression for me.

Sometimes a Super Bowl party is just a Super Bowl party. Eat, drink and be merry. But sometimes a Super Bowl party is a pale imitation of the greater party we are invited to, in union with God.

What will Super Bowl parties look like in heaven? I imagine there will be cheese.

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~ by Cary on January 31, 2011.

4 Responses to “The Gospel According to Velveeta: Anticipating Super Bowl Sunday”

  1. Loved this post–Gordon’s going to use it for his devotional at staff meeting tomorrow!

  2. I’d love to hear him on this topic!

  3. […] via The Gospel According to Velveeta: Anticipating Super Bowl Sunday « Holy Vernacular. […]

  4. […] Bowl, sex trafficking, culture:  Yesterday I posted a friend’s blogpost about the feasting aspect of the Super Bowl … I guess the fans feast in other ways, too. […]

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