COVID-19 dragged something foreign into the lives of most people.
Masks were the territory of robbers, clowns, and Halloween Trick-or-Treaters. Now, to stay safe, we wear a mask. It prevents us if we have the virus but no symptoms to protect others. Yet, it protects us, as well.
Most people flinch at wearing the mask. We don’t like it. We want to show our faces and see facial expressions. Masks hide something.
Not all masks cover the nose and mouth. Some cover intention and motive.
The ancient Greek theater had a slim cast of characters, sometimes only one. The way you changed the role was to put on a different mask. Once donned, that mask conveyed a distinct personality apart from the actor’s own.
Hence, the New Testament borrows the term “hypocrite” for the actor under the mask. What he shows is not who he is.
Paul warned people of the theatrics of spiritual motives.
“You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed—God is our witness.” (1 Thessalonians 2:5)
Paul was telling people, “my face is open, and my motives are clear.” He did not cover up motives but was genuine. Sadly, modern Christianity has its share of performers who play the role to gain the trust, the money, and the loyalty of the gullible.
So, we live in two worlds. Wear a mask to protect yourself but take off your spiritual mask to show the genuineness of Christian devotion.
Both masked and unmasked provide some measure of safety.
-Robert G. Taylor-