I remember growing up being so excited to go find a costume which came in a cardboard box with cellophane over the top. Mask and one piece outfit included. I could hardly get through supper. I was so excited. I liked that Dad took us because I was always (still don’t like it) afraid of people dressed up. I was always scared with strangers in the dark. I liked to know who I was talking to. Thankfully, I have learned that God is bigger than all that and I don’t have to live in fear. Jesus says in John 12: 46, “I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.”
A valuable lesson from Halloween is about pretending to be someone you’re not. I am so glad we can go to God just as we are. We do not have to pretend we are a superhero, we don’t have to have a costume or a mask. We just go as we are without any fear. He meets us as we go to Him! We are not alone and never will be. Hebrews 13: 5, “...God says, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’”
The last two years we have seen a lot of people in masks. Three years ago, if I had been in a store and someone walked in with a bandanna covering their face and sunglasses I would have hidden! While I think COVID has caused us to wear physical masks, I also believe during this time of isolation some of us have realized we wear other masks. We have had time to pause and reflect on our lives. Many of us wear masks to cover up things or disguise things. Maybe we are pretending to be someone we're not. Maybe we are pretending we have it all together when really it is all falling apart. We don't want someone to see the real us.
We even wear the masks to church. I love this quote: Acting perfect in church is like dressing up for an x-ray! God sees through our mask! He sees our flaws, sins, regrets and failures and still loves us! He loves us unconditionally! He knows us! He knows our ways. Psalm 139: 15, "My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth." We can not hide from God. We may as well take the mask off and accept His gift of love!
Maybe Adam and Eve wore the first masks - masks are coverings. Genesis 3: 6-7, "When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband,who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked;so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves." Their first thought after they disobeyed God was shame and they felt exposed and vulnerable so they wanted to cover themselves. Somehow we think this will cover our pain.
God tells us to come just as we are. We do not have to "clean up" for Him. He meets us where we are. 2 Corinthians 4: 2, "Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways;we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God." As Paul urged, we need to renounce hidden things. We need to be honest with God and ask Him to help free us from deceitfulness. Let's be real. God is the covering for His people.
What kind of masks are you wearing?