More than a Mascot

January 12, 2018 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Dawn Wilson –

Years ago, when my younger son played baseball for the Phillies’ minor league Batavia Muckdogs, I laughed as the mascot dog—now named Homer—entertained fans at Dwyer Stadium. He was clumsy and hilarious. These days, my older son sometimes dresses up as a mascot, Odin, for the Valhalla High School football team. I get a kick out of seeing him on the field, joking around and cheering on the team.

Mascots are adopted by teams as a symbols of groups and teams; but there are some strange ones: the Banana Slug, Sebastian the Ibis, Zippy the Kangaroo, the Boll Weevil. Maybe the strangest one is Stanford University’s unofficial mascot, “The Tree.” To quote one observer, “It looks like it was made with Elmer’s glue and construction paper by a group of first graders.”

Mascots supposedly bring good luck. (To watch some of the blooper videos on YouTube, I think the mascots need some luck of their own! They trip, fall, and generally make fools of themselves. One mascot jumped on a trampoline into a basketball hoop, and lost his pants before exiting the net!) We all love those crazy mascots. They’re great to have around, if only for a good laugh.

But some time ago, I read a statement by David Bryant that made me think about this word “mascot” in a far more serious light. “We often find ourselves making Jesus our mascot,” Bryant said, “instead of our Monarch. He’s around, but not in charge.”

“I’ve never done that,” I thought. But then the Spirit of God showed me ways that I have sometimes treated Jesus like a “lucky rabbit’s foot” or a magic “Jeanie in a bottle”—a good luck charm to keep me safe.

We may laugh at a mascot, but we’d never bow before one. We’re told in scripture, “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow … and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Philippians 2:10-11).

Jesus is not my mascot. Jesus is not, as some people say, my “Homeboy.” No, Jesus is Lord. He is Master. And just saying those words is not enough. Jesus told people, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). We show the world that Jesus is our Lord when we obey Him, when He is the center of our existence and we manifest His love throughout the world.

Jesus is my Lord because He is my very life (Colossians 3:1-4)—a life I have because He died for me. I can’t think of a mascot anywhere who would love me enough to die for me.

About Dawn Wilson

Dawn Wilson (www.heartchoicesministries.com; www.heartchoicestoday.blogspot; www.LOLwithGod.com)—co-author of LOL with God: Devotional Messages of Hope and Humor for Women—writes for Christian Examiner and two national ministries. She equips women to make godly choices, and encourages evangelical women in leadership. She delights in God, her husband Bob, three granddaughters, and a pup named Roscoe.

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