Yes, I like Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Inc crew – Fred Jones, Daphne Blake, Velma Dinkley, and Norville “Shaggy” Rogers. There’s mystery, there’s intrigue, there’s awesome 1970s threads…jeepers! – who wouldn’t love it?? And I can even laugh like Scooby. I know, I know. Pure raw talent.
There’s much to be learned from ol’ Scoob and the gang, you know. Probably the greatest lesson I ever got from them was that you can’t judge a book by its cover. I mean, how many times did those big ugly growling monsters turn out to be just some guy in a costume trying to keep everybody away from some random treasure? Well, pretty much everytime actually. They were some mack-daddy monsters too! And then when Velma snatched the mask off the ghoul after everybody got tangled up in one of Fred’s traps-gone-all-wrong, the bad guy’s response was always “and I’d have gotten away with it too if it hadn’t been for you meddling kids!” Classic!!
And thank goodness they meddled, right? Otherwise a terrible injustice would have been done. They had a scary situation that needed to be dealt with and they weren’t about to take it at face value. They looked their fear right in the face and they didn’t stop “meddling” until the truth was exposed. And then there was Shaggy and Scooby, shaking in their boots at the idea of chasing after a ghost, but somehow still managing to do what they had to do to catch the bad guy. (Of course a Scooby snack or two always helped push them along!)
So what in the world does Scooby-Doo have to do with Jesus, you ask? Well lots really. Think about it. The accuser of the brethren has one main objective…to keep us away from Our Treasure. How many times does Satan come at us with what looks like an unconquerable beast that rumbles and growls and chases us all over the place? It snarls and drools and looks just hideous. Sometimes its name is Fear, sometimes its name is Failing Marriage, sometimes Prodigal Child, sometimes Jobless. We all have our own list of personalized beasts that we have dealt with at one time or another. But in Christ, we have the strength to conquer them all. It takes looking that thing in the face, ripping off its mask and calling it what it is, and realizing that it has no power over us. Now don’t think I’m trying to belittle the trials you have suffered or are currently up against. No way. When that thing is bent over you, staring you down, that hot breath from its nostrils blowing in your face – it’s not hard to find ourselves rooted to the ground in fear, unable to move. But that’s about the time that God tosses us a Scooby snack, if you will, from one of His 66 love letters and we suddenly find strength and boldness in HIM…and that monster’s power seems to just drain away. But that takes determination…resolve…on our part to refuse to let this thing conquer us. And it can be conquered…and with interest. Remember, we are not just conquerors…we are MORE than conquerers in Christ (Romans 8:37). Praise!
One other little nugget that (as I was reminded by my 10-year-old as he was reading the draft of this blog) we can learn from Scooby is the value of teamwork. I don’t think God ever expected us to take on this world all by ourselves. He gave us a community of believers to walk this path with and let me tell you something…there is strength in numbers!
Check out Ecclesiastes 4:12
Though one may be overpowered,
Two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Although Fred’s traps usually ended in much disaster and hilarity, the fact is that every one of the gang had a part to play. Fred laid out the plan, Daphne and Velma set off the different parts of the trap, and of course Scooby and Shaggy were usually the bait. Each member of the team, working together to accomplish one goal…to capture the bad guy and solve the mystery.
The body of Christ should work the same…well except for having everything go incredibly wrong that is. We each have an important role in the kingdom. As Paul puts it, we all as members have different gifts, but we function together as one body for Christ and we are all important (Romans 12:3-8). Sometimes the Church gets so hung up on internal offenses and picky differences that we forget that we are all on the same team with the same goal.
Incidentally, one other thing. No matter how conniving or creepy the bad guy is on the show or how much he thinks he’s gotten away with, in the end he is always caught. I know for us, sometimes it seems like Satan is winning. Criminals go free, the greedy get richer, the persecution of Believers gets louder and bolder, and it may even seem like somehow the kingdom of God is losing its footing in this world…and that’s exactly what Satan would like for you to think. But let me tell you something. The God of the Universe is on His throne and He sees it all. The enemy has been defeated and the victory is ours in Christ Jesus. He will crush Satan under our feet (Romans 16:20). And well gang, I guess that wraps up the mystery. ZOINKS!!!