The recent NFL season could easily be summed up in two words: Public Demonstration.
Flip the channel to ESPN this season, and you’re bound to get one of two very different tales.
On one hand, you may have seen headlines and reports of free agent Colin Kaepernick, and his public demonstration of taking a knee—although it may have cost him his career.
And while this NFL season, similar to that of 2016, has been riddled with politics and opinion, there’s one very different public demonstration that has been making waves among the NFL, thanks to the Philadelphia Eagles.
The No. 1 ranked team in the league is now headed to Super Bowl LII, warranting them plenty of airtime on the sports broadcasting network. But greater than their successful wins perhaps is the team’s public demonstration of their faith.
Last fall, Faithit shared the story of Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver, Marcus Johnson, who was baptized by his fellow teammates and coaches in a hotel pool prior to a Thursday night game.
— Marcus D. Johnson📢 (@Mojomdj) October 12, 2017
Leading the showcase of Bible-believing brothers is star quarterback Carson Wentz, who has vowed to play for an “Audience of One.” Though a major ACL injury will stop him from playing in Super Bowl 52, nothing can stop him from praising God in the storm and leading his teammates to victory.
Wentz’s proclamation was the catalyst for an impressive faith movement among the thriving NFL team.
More than just a pre-game prayer on the field, Christianity has become “the locker room’s binding force” behind Philadelphia’s cohesiveness both on-and-off the field this season.
In celebration of the team’s faith movement, the Philadelphia Eagles organization released a video on Facebook, giving fans a deeper look at what their favorite players are all about.
The eight-minute testimonial features Carson Wentz along with wide receiver Torrey Smith and safety Chris Maragos, who openly share their individual faith journeys of redemption and hope.
“I went to church often growing up, but it wasn’t until I was in my last year of college where I realized I was kind of living off of everyone else’s salvation,” Smith explained. “I wasn’t really finding out things on my own. I wasn’t diving into the Word or exploring that the way I was exploring everything else around me. That’s when I kind of realized I was living the wrong way.”
Maragos had a similar “coming to Jesus” moment in high school.
“I was on this downward spiral because the things I was trying to place in my life to give me satisfaction would last for a little bit and then they’d fade away,” he said. “That was my sophomore year of high school. I was really at a crossroad at that point and had to make a decision on where I was going. That’s when I gave my life to Christ, and he supplied that satisfaction and that joy for me.”
And while most players in the NFL spend the season in practices, watching film and preparing for the competition on Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles spend their weeks suiting up for battle.
“Every Monday night we have a couple’s Bible study. We have a Thursday night team Bible study,” Wentz shared. “And Saturday nights, we actually get together the night before the game and just kind of pray and talk through the Word and what guys have been reading, what they’re struggling with, and just kind of keep it real with each other. To have that here in an NFL facility like this, it’s really special.”
Jesus says, “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am as well.” The Eagles have taken the Lord at His Word and shown the world that there is power in the name of Jesus.
“I think what we’re always challenging each other with is not to lose sight of the bigger picture,” Wentz said. “Wins, losses, highs, lows, everything that comes with this game, it’s so easy to take your mind and your eyes off the ultimate prize, and that’s living for the Lord.”