The Philadelphia Eagles have supplanted the New England Patriots as my favorite team and I really hope they win this year’s Super Bowl.
This is because God is doing something supernatural in the lives of many of the team’s players. It appears revival is literally breaking out on this team. The Holy Spirit’s work on the Eagles became nationally known in an ESPN December 21, 2016 article which you can read here.
The story tells of five Eagles players, linebackers Jordan Hicks, Mychal Kendricks and Kamu Grugier-Hill, and wide receivers Paul Turner and David Watford, were baptized by team chaplain Ted Winsley and tight end Trey Burton in cold tubs.
The team’s backup quarterback at the time Chase Daniel hosted a couples Bible studies each week which continues to this day. In addition, a follow-up study takes place each Thursday evening. Daniel said, “This is by far the most spiritual team I’ve been on.”
Burton added, “Even guys who weren’t here last year, or guys that were on other teams, say this locker room is unbelievable with how many believers we have compared to where they’ve been.” After injuring his calf in 2016, Burton was expected to miss a couple of weeks. He recounted, “I had a couple guys here lay hands on me and pray on me and then I went home and had my wife and my kids and one of our pastor friends come and lay their hands on me, and immediately I woke up the next morning and I was totally fine.”
Joshua Cooley wrote in Bible Study magazine, “Bible studies are common throughout the National Football League. What distinguishes the Eagles’ group is the players’ uncompromising pursuit of biblical truth, deep theology, genuine accountability, and gospel-fueled charity. They’re not interested in status-quo spirituality.”
Prior to their October 12th game against the Carolina Panthers, wide receiver Marcus Johnson requested to be baptized at the team hotel. He told The Morning Call in this article, “Seeing how they’re living, how they’re committed to it, I felt like it was God just pushing me, like, ‘look, you can’t keep making excuses anymore. You’ve go to make that decision. Are you going to take that next step in your faith, or are you going to continue to make excuses?” The video above shows what happened.
And what about star quarterback Carson Wentz. He said, “Honestly it’s sometimes crazy to me, personally, this life that I’m living, playing the game I love for Jesus. I get to glorify him while doing something I like to do. It’s pretty cool. I’m very blessed to be surrounded by a number of other believers that just help and encourage me in that. It’s just been really special.”
You can’t earn grace. It’s free. It’s the greatest gift there’s ever been & will be. Accept it.
Jesus is waiting for you & loves you #AO1
— Carson Wentz (@cj_wentz) June 4, 2017
Wentz has also started The Carson Wentz AO1 Foundation in 2017 whose imission is to “demonstrate the love of God by providing opportunities and support for the less fortunate and those in need.”
Wentz told Delaware Online about his faith in this article, “On the field, and in everything I do, honestly, it gives me a bigger picture. So when I’m playing football and it’s good, bad or ugly, I realize I’m not trying to please the fans or the media. Ultimately, I’m just trying to play for the Lord and I know where my heart is at.
“It just helps me play a lot more freely and a lot more boldly, confidently. … There’s a verse, Colossians 3:23: It says ‘Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart. You’re working for the Lord and not for human masters.’”
Wentz continued, “I’m very open about my faith. I’m not going to hide from it or back down. I also like to try to walk the fine line in being too much and hitting people over the head with the Bible – that’s not what I’m about… I love Jesus and I’m going to talk about it. You can’t be around me for more than 20 minutes; it’s probably going to come up.”
Middle linebacker Jordan Hicks added, “We play to honor Jesus Christ. That’s what we play for. It takes [the pressure] off our shoulders. Honestly, it makes us play harder in a sense, just understanding the humbling fact that it’s not about us, it’s about him, and glorifying his name.”
“I think a lot of people bounce around that aspect, that perspective, to find somebody to play for, or find someone who sacrificed for you to get here and play for that person. For us, it is Christ.“
To conclude, Burton said, “This is by far the most spiritual team I’ve been on. Even guys that were on other teams say this locker room is unbelievable with how many believers we have compared to where they’ve been.”
May God continue to bless the efforts of the Philadelphia Eagles, both on and off the field.
For more resources on the spiritual journey of the Philadelphia Eagles, check out these podcast interviews:
- Linch With A Leader: Mike Linch interviews Trey Burton
- Sports Spectrum: Jason Romano interviews Trey Burton
- Sports Spectrum: Jason Romano interviews safety Chris Maragos and team chaplain Ted Winsley
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