Today, an estimated 4 million people are descending on South Philadelphia and Center City because THE E-A-G-L-E-S ARE SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS OF HEAVEN AND EARTH!!!
Okay it is, but I don’t want the moment and all its incredible communal feels to pass without Jesus getting his due. At a big moment in their life, celebrities are often quick to give glory to God for the amazing thing they are experiencing. I hope that when you’re part of something that big, whatever faith you have gets ignited too. I suspect it will. maybe it will happen just being part of the celebration today in Philadelphia (or whatever other glorious thing you’re close to today–there’s always something glorious).
But srsly, Jesus won the Super Bowl, ya’ll.
The Eagles beat the Patriots because they were united. All the players don’t have faith but this article in Relevant Magazine is just one among many articles written by Christian and “secular” publications alike about the faith present in the Eagle’s locker room. Trey Burton, the 4th-and-1 miracle making tight end who threw a touchdown to Nick Foles (watch it here until the NFL finds it), has baptized five of his team mates. In the “Relevant” article he is the designated “Team Pastor.” The Inquirer, also, last weekend had front page spotlights on the team chaplains, a local pastor and a local priest. Nick Foles, Carson Wentz and Doug Pederson might have had the most opportunity to give God the glory. I saw a video of Doug leading whoever wanted to join in the Lord’s Prayer on game day. Doug gave it up to his ‘Lord and Savior Jesus Christ’ in front of millions watching as he received the Lombardi trophy.
Some might want to dismiss these rich dude’s faith as posturing or counterfeit. It’s easy to be an NFL player or coach and praise God, right? Is that really faith? And what does Jesus care about football? Great questions. I don’t think Jesus cares about who won the Super Bowl too much, but I know he cares about Trey Burton, Carson Wentz, Nick Foles, Doug Pederson and every individual who cares about football as much as they do or even a little bit. Because he cares about all of us–so much. And because they receive that care form Jesus, I am confident they are better at relating, and thus better at being a team, and thus better at WINNING THE SUPER BOWL!!!
(…too much again? sorry)
The Eagles are such a good football team because they are such a good team. All the sports radio guys agree at least. And Jesus makes us better at teaming. He leads us in humility and putting the interests of others before ourselves. The Eagles locker room is uncannily connected. Doug’s players love him and he loves them. And they love each other. Even those who are not Christians feel that connection and benefit from it. It’s a stark contrast with the Patriots and the controversy between one-man-show, Tom Brady, grizzled barker, Bill Belichick, and Patriots owner, Robert Kraft. Google the drama, cause there is drama. Tom Brady couldn’t be found for the traditional good-sportsman handshake with Nick Foles after the game. He’s not humble, and maybe he doesn’t think he has to be because he has achieved so much on his own. That’s bad teaming.
The Eagles won with the second-string quarterback and without the benefit of some of their best players due to injuries. Doug Pederson was coaching High School football not too long ago. It is all very unlikely. Jesus helped them do the very unexpected.
BTW Carson Wentz’ organization “Audience of 1” kind of misses his own genius. Carson’s idea is that he’s just doing his best for God, who is the One of Carson’s audience. But it’s bigger than that. Carson’s audience is at least the 52 other guys on the roster. But it’s bigger than that–it’s the whole Eagles organization. But it’s bigger than that–the whole parade today.
Jesus does his biggest stuff in teams. He built a Church as his main project. We are Jesus’ team. We perform for each other and this pleases God. I think the Eagle’s playing for and with each other is what won the game. It was their edge. It was the odds overcomer. It was the underdogs’ power. We can do the same in Circle of Hope. None of us are good enough, talented enough, capable enough to do everything we’re called to do. But I guarantee you are tempted to do it by yourself, either because it’s too late in the game of whatever you’re trying to do, or you’re getting unconsciously stuck in that old way of Tom Brady thinking. Let’s resist our temptation to be a one person show. Let’s celebrate the Eagles and Jesus in them. He’s doing the same with us.
Jesus, save us for each other. Amen!