Posted by: pastordarren | October 27, 2008

The Masks We Wear

I want to take the opportunity to look at two seemingly different topics that both deal with one day, October 31.  Most of us are familiar with this day as being Halloween.  Now without getting into the discussion about whether or not Christians should celebrate Halloween, I would like to focus on the aspect of wearing masks and what it does to our faith and the community of the Church.  Halloween is known as a day were we dress up as something or someone different.  We hide our true identity in order to scare someone or have fun with others.  But don’t we wear masks and hide who we really are each day of our lives?

 

How often will we not reveal to someone who asks how we are doing, how we are really doing, because we are afraid.  How often will we hide who we are on the inside because we are afraid that we will not measure up to someone’s expectations for us?  We wear masks each and everyday because for various reasons, we do not trust others with who we are, and so we put up a front to show what we think they expect instead of being open with who we are and how we are doing.  We are hurting, we are tired, we are frustrated, we are angry, we sick, we are (fill in the blank), and it is sometimes just easier to say we are fine and not risk being hurt than to reveal to others what is really happening and where we are inside.  Masks can and are a protection, but masks hurt the community.

 

Masks hide who we are from others and in doing so, separate a bit of ourselves from the Body of Christ which is the Church.  If I don’t know what is happening with you, how can I pray for and help to meet your needs, and it goes the other way too.  I believe that God has called the church to be this transparent community, yet we are not there.  It is issues of trust, of hurt, of openness, of acceptance, of true community that don’t allow us to be open and honest with people.  We keep our masks on with people whom we should be open with because of our unity in Jesus.

 

The second thing that many of us are not familiar with is that October 31st is the day in which Martin Luther nailed the 95 theses on the door that set in motion the reformation.  This act, helped to bring about a huge change in the church, one that we are the recipients of today.  Historians look back on this event in relation to others that were happening in Europe during this time and see that these leaders stepped out in faith to bring about the calling of God.  In effect, Luther removed the mask that was on the church and brought to light the issues and condition of the church of that day.

 

I believe that in many ways we are in the midst of another reformation.  For too long the church has worn the mask that we are doing well, that even through the struggles, we are doing what God has called us to do.  Well I’m not so sure.

 

We have churches that are shrinking in number, we have alienated people because we are judgmental, people see the church as hypocritical and irrelevant, we have been worshiping the church and it’s structures instead of our Lord.  You may not see these in your church, but they are there in the church at large.

 

Let’s remove our masks.  Removing our masks can be scary because we become vulnerable and open to others.  It is a step of faith and trust on a personal level and one on the church wide level.  We must trust God as a church to do with us as needs to happen and we must trust others to love us when we are hurting and down.  Let’s remove our masks and be honest with ourselves and with others about who we are and what is really happening.

One last thought, when we wear masks, we are not only hiding what is inside, but also blocking the outside from coming in, including the grace and strength of God.  God already knows what is on the inside and is just waiting for us to remove the masks and acknowledge what is there.  Let’s remove our masks and let out what is inside and allow in the healing grace and strength of God on a personal and church wide level.

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Responses

  1. […] hamptonpastor wrote an interesting post today onThe Masks We WearHere’s a quick excerptMost of us are familiar with this day as being Halloween. Now without getting into the discussion about whether or not Christians should celebrate Halloween, I would like to focus on the aspect of wearing masks and what it does to our … […]


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