“Hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones…” Matthew 23:27
Masks…masks are great at masquerade and Halloween parties. My children are just beyond the age of dressing up for Halloween. My son has been almost every super hero out there…Superman, Batman, Buzz Lightyear, Spiderman, and a gold Power Ranger! He would save his costumes and wear them throughout the year. It made for some great fun during the cold winter months. Sometimes he even slept in his costumes.
Paul says “when I was a child I acted like a child, but when I grew up I put away childish things”. The problem with masks is that we really never out grow them. They just take on an invisible form. We all wear masks. And, in many ways, they are healthy. Masks help us to frame our world. We know what roles to play and when to play them. And this is good because we need to know when we are supposed to be leaders and when we are supposed to be followers. We need to know that sometimes we are supposed to be tenacious and sometimes we are supposed to be empathetic. But most of the time mask are not healthy.
Of all the complaints I have heard about Christianity and the Church, the number one complaint is that the people are hypocrites. It is a term that has been used so much that I wonder if we even know what it means. In Jesus’ day, it was used to describe the masks that actors wore when performing or reciting poetry. Some plays had actors changing their masks as many as 200 times. That is a lot of masks! I wonder if they forgot from time to time and portrayed the wrong person with the wrong mask.
But I have a feeling that if we were all honest (whether we were in the Church or not), we would admit that we are hypocrites and we wear masks. Maybe not all the time, but certainly from time to time. Sunday we are going to talk about masks and being hypocrites and what to do about it. I hope you will join us.