What is the Phoenix?
The Phoenix is a mythical creature said to build a nest when old, and set it on fire. It would then rise from the ashes in victory. According to most versions only one Phoenix lived at a time and it renewed itself every 500 years. Legend tells that the Phoenix is a bird that will not die because it did not eat of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. Because of these myths (believed by the Greeks, Egyptians, and Orientals), the bird came to symbolize Christ.
The Phoenix as a Christian Symbol
Because of the unique quality of the Phoenix rising out of ashes, the Phoenix has become a Christian symbol of the resurrection and redemptive power of Christ and eternal life in heaven. Christian symbolism of the Phoenix has been used since the first century AD when Saint Clement used the legend of the Phoenix as an allegory of the Resurrection in his first letter to the Corinthians. The Phoenix became popular in early Christian art, literature and Christian symbolism, as a symbol of Christ, and further, represented the resurrection, immortality, and the life-after-death of Jesus Christ.
Reference to the Phoenix in the Bible
The following Biblical reference to the Phoenix is in Job 29:18: “Then I thought, ‘I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply my days like the Phoenix.’” The translation of the Hebrew word KHOL has two meanings. Many translations say ‘sand’ but it can also be translated ‘phoenix bird.’ Job’s faith was tested severely, but God brought him back from the ashes. Since the fall of mankind with the sin of Adam, mankind was destined to die for his sin. God said in Genesis 3:19: “for dust you are and to dust you will return.” However, because of Christ’s death and resurrection, we too will rise from the ashes on the last day and enjoy the resurrection of the body and eternal life in heaven.
The Phoenix as a Fitting Mascot for LSUS
Lutheran South Unity School is pleased to have the resurrection symbol of the Phoenix as a mascot as a strong reminder that Christ’s death and resurrection is the center of all we do. It is also a fitting reminder of our goal of reviving Lutheran education on the south side of Fort Wayne.
Red and Gold Colors
Traditionally the Phoenix has been represented in red and gold as colors of fire from which the Phoenix arose. Red also symbolizes the blood of Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit. Gold reminds us of the victorious crown of gold we will receive in eternal life.