Perry Emerick – Mesa Campus Pastor
So I saw someone on Facebook post this picture of a helmet that has the image of a skull built right into it. My first reaction was, “That’s pretty cool looking.” Typical guy response, I know. But it’s true… it’s kind of cool looking. I’ve actually seen a guy on a motorcycle with some kind of skull looking bandanna on his face while riding. I’ve seen kids today who have coats with hoods that zip all the way up to the top of the head and have some kind of skull image on it. As usual, it has gotten me thinking and contemplating about it. What’s the draw?
My personal feeling…I think it is a machismo thing. It’s the desire to look tough. Don’t mess with me. It’s all about intimidation. I am a warrior. But is that really the case, or do we just want people to think that? At the end of the day, its just a mask. It’s a front we put out there that may or may not represent who we are, but more likely represents who we want to be seen as.
When you consider the word hypocrite in the New Testament as used by Christ, the word is a reference to an actor on a stage… wearing a mask. He is presenting himself to an audience in hopes of being seen in a particular way; as a particular character. That is not who he is, just the part he is playing for the sake of the crowd. In the case of the scribes and pharisees, to show themselves to the Jews as super holy. I think many of us live that way. We put on the mask that fits how we want the audience to see us in the moment. An actor does it for applause; we do it for acceptance…or at least image acceptance. But as Jesus said, at least about the hypocrites he called out in the Bible, is that they have received their reward in full.
So what if we take off the masks? What if they see us for who we really are?
We are who we are. We are broken, imperfect, fallible people who will never be perfect. We have been given the opportunity to shed the weight of looking perfect to the world by finding our hope in Jesus. Rather than wearing masks, we can live in grace, and in the confidence of knowing that in Christ we are a new creation…not based on what we look like on the outside, but based on what the Spirit of God has done on the inside. Let us start off this new year with a goal to take off the mask and to show the light of Christ instead of the masks of the world.