The Truth Unmasked (Thought for Sept 2020)

September 10, 2020

in Monthly comment

What a variety of face masks we’re seeing these days, from simple disposable ones to the thicker washable variety, ones with patterns, pictures, even union jacks, those that pull on the ears making them stick out, blue, black, white and other shades of the spectrum – all intended to help keep us either from passing on virus germs (should we unknowingly have them) or preventing us imbibing same. Fortunately we don’t have our eyes covered – though steaming specs can be a problem. Rather than rose tinted our vision becomes more hazy.

Masks have been used down the centuries for various purposes, often for protection, but sometimes to hide what’s underneath. Masks served several important purposes in Ancient Greek theatre: covering the whole face, their exaggerated expressions helped define the characters being portrayed, and they allowed actors to play more than one role (or gender). Then there were those smaller masks worn at Masked, or Masquerade, balls which often turned into a game of “guess the guests” because the guests were supposed to conceal their identity with their masks. This would create a game that basically required guests to try to guess another guest’s identity. But the masks always hid the real person. Thankfully for us as we have gathered at church these past two Sunday evenings, we have managed, I think, to recognise each other even if we can’t be sure if we’re smiling or not!

People in life are wearing masks – not for Covid-19 reasons – but masks, emotional or spiritual. Arguably, we all have aspects of our person that we prefer to keep private, but perhaps people in using such masks are trying to make out they’re different from whom they really are. If we’re honest, don’t we all, even subconsciously, want others to think the best of us?
One thing the Bible is clear about is that we can’t hide behind a religious mask so far as God is concerned. Jesus had a warning for his disciples in Luke 12:1& 2 “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.” Actually, The Message paraphrases that warning by using the mask picture: “Watch yourselves carefully so you don’t get contaminated with Pharisee yeast, Pharisee phoniness. You can’t keep your true self hidden forever; before long you’ll be exposed. You can’t hide behind a religious mask forever; sooner or later the mask will slip and your true face will be known.”

May we be careful to ensure that we are not trying to fool God (or other people for that matter) into thinking we’re better than we are, for we would be the fools. Proverbs 15:11 states: Death and Destruction lie open before the LORD – how much more do human hearts! Though we must be careful to wear our physical protective masks, let’s get rid of the masks of pretence and deceit before our holy God and approach him in repentance and faith day by day. He’s the One who can deal with the terrible virus of sin in our lives, thanks to his Son, Jesus, our Saviour.

Steve Piggott

Sept 2020

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