On Thursday of this past week, Texas State Governor Gregg Abbott mandated the wearing of masks inside or even outside places where the public gathers or assembles. Churches were once again exempt from this mandate and though I appreciate that gesture, our church has made the decision to have all staff and volunteers wear them. All for the sake of trying to slow the spread of Covid-19.
What’s interesting is that one of the biggest things we constantly bring up in our church is that if you want to help get rid of the virus of sin in your life, you have to take off your mask and be fully known and vulnerable to God. We all wear masks in our lives especially when we are around other people or are in situations that require it. In some cases, a mask is ok. Not everyone is prepared to take on your burdens from a casual conversation you might have or perhaps the timing is not right for you to be open and vulnerable in a given situation and you have to just “get through” what ever it is until the timing is right if ever. Those masks are ok to wear for a short time. Those are day to day life functioning masks that we all have to wear from time to time.
A commonly worn mask especially in this weird time is the one covering loneliness and depression. Some people wear those better than others and some don’t. But it’s not just now, those masks have been worn for ages by people. Now the most dangerous mask is the one covering our sin and is the one that is worn way too often. It’s living two lives that causes us to stumble and eventually fall. Some folks have become quite good actors and for the most part can play both parts and even multiple parts depending on the variations of masks they have decided to put on. In the end however, God wants us to drop the masks and reveal who we really are to him. What’s cool is that He already knows.
One of our favorite TV shows that plays in our home is “The Masked Singer”. What a fun show! A celebrity of some stature dressed in an elaborate, full body costume and sings songs and dances while a panel of judges try to figure out who the person is behind the mask. Think about that for a minute and let’s break that down a bit. A person wears a mask…and performs in front of others…while the others try to figure out who that person really is. That scene is played out in everyday life with just about everyone and we don’t even need a show to highlight it.
While this particular topic of masks has nothing to do with wearing a face mask, there is at least one similarity. In both cases, none of us truly enjoy wearing the mask. We’d much rather not have to wear one but because of the dangers of being exposed, we choose to cover up and not take the risk. To be vulnerable is seen as weak but to God is a sign of strength. That’s one of the most beautiful things about being a Christ follower isn’t it?
I can’t wait for this face mask mandate to be lifted. The freedom of not having to wear it will be wonderful. There’s a lot of freedom to be had when we get rid of the masks in our lives that’s for sure. Freedom to be who God made us to be and to enjoy knowing there is nothing to hide. “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12.
Be safe people and may the mask that is mandated be the only mask you’re wearing.