Maybe you are already prepared for this holiday season with your tree and your decorations up and all of your gifts bought (or Santa is helping you out) but, how prepared are you to encounter Jesus? How prepared is your heart? All of us experience obstacles and challenges that we have to face in our lives. The Advent season gives us an opportunity to take a necessary step back from everything and think about who we are, what we have done in our past, what are we here for, and where do we want to go. It is a time for preparation for the journey towards Christmas and discovering Jesus. Through this time of reflection we can encounter Jesus in a new way.
Author Matthew Kelly said it best, “We are called to encourage people to invite Jesus deeper into their lives and deeper into their hearts”. Through this quote, Matthew basically describes a part of what your lay ministry is all about. As Team Chaplains, it is our responsibility to invite our student-athletes to be open to prayer, to encounter Jesus, to know Jesus, and to be open to finding God. Both Carson Wentz and Nick Foles, quarterbacks for the Philadelphia Eagles, are very open about their faith and have been seen inviting their teammates to be open to finding Christ. Just as Wentz and Foles have both played in the supporting role, we, too, can be that friend and supporter. Our RISES values serve as a reminder that everyone deserves to be valued as a child of God. Once we prepare our own hearts during this season we can then, in turn, help others do the same. To help you on this journey, ask yourselves: Would you need to change anything in your life if Jesus knocked on your door and spent the whole day with you?