I love Halloween… well, I used to love Halloween. The older I get the more creepy it seems to be becoming. It used to just be walking around with friends getting candy from random houses and wearing a silly costume. Now a costume either looks like it came straight out of “Hellraiser” or the Victorias Secret website. I dare not check my Facebook feed during the week of Halloween so I don’t see an image of scantily clad people I once had respect for. Apparently a nightgown, some whiskers, and a set of cat ears make a costume these days. Needless to say, I don’t love Halloween anymore. I used to though, and this is why.
I loved being someone else for a day. I loved putting on that Batman mask, or the Phantom of the Opera mask, or my furry body suit and becoming “The Wolf Man”. Likely one of the big reasons I was in theatre also, becoming someone else is a lot of fun. I wonder how many of us have become professional trick-or-treaters? Some put on their costume for Halloween, grab their candy, and then put it in the closet until next year. Most, however, put their mask on every morning before they walk out the door. What am I talking about? That is a question you need to reflect on yourself. It is different for everyone. Many days I have to put on the mask of “self confidence”. It makes me look like a competent and successful person, when under the mask I can feel unsure and off course. Maybe you are putting on the mask that says, “Everything’s great” but in reality, your life is falling to pieces and you wish desperately you could just let someone know. I see people walk into church every week wearing the mask of “Christian”, when behind closed doors they are disrespecting their spouse, not loving their children, looking at pornography, or just so depressed and hopeless they sometimes think of ending their life. Because they wear that mask, no one ever pushes deeper to know what is really going on.
Jesus was amazing at seeing through masks. He did have a leg up on the competition because He was God after all. He could see Zacchaeus(Luke 19) sitting in the tree and know that he needed to go to his house to straighten out Zach’s thinking. Jesus saw through Zach’s mask of success and wealth. Jesus saw the woman at the well(John 4) and knew she needed living water to give her life. Jesus saw through her mask of self sufficiency.
Here is the really awesome part, as a member of the body of Christ, we have the same ability to see through the masks people wear. We are given the power of the Holy Spirit and one of the gifts He gives us is discernment. There are those times that you are talking with someone on Sunday morning and as they say, “Yeah, everything’s great!” and you feel that might not be the whole truth, when you feel that little discernment in your gut telling you to ask again, I think being Christ-like means pushing a little. Respond, “Are you sure everything’s great?” or just, “anything you want to share?” and give them a chance to vent. Many times our discernment can be off a little, or the person just isn’t going to open up. A lot of times though, they will take the opportunity to lay their burden on you and you can help them carry it to the cross. What a joy, to bear one another’s burdens!
“Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
It might feel like prying, but we are called to first, not be a people who wear masks, but are unveiled (2 Corinthians 3:18) for the glory of Christ. Second, to be like Christ and see through the masks that people are wearing and help them take them off. Let’s not forget our duty to care for each other. Halloween is fun, but let’s only wear our masks one day a year. Let Christ’s Church be unveiled for His glory!
Thanks for reading, until next time… Keep Shouting!