Welcome to Becomning Closer! 

Communion 2009

The Mask

Originally scheduled for August 30

The Mask came into church today. He – or who knows, is it she? – is sitting with us right now. The Mask often is here with us; it’s just that we usually don’t recognize the Mask. Indeed, what is there to look for? The Mask is all smiles; the children are doing just fine; everyone’s healthy – and no one’s heart is troubled with spiritual problems. It’s better than that; the Mask is never offended, for no one can offend the Mask. Never offended, the Mask never needs to forgive. You won’t get much chance to look at the Mask, though; it might crack under the strain of serious conversation.

 

You might ask why the Mask comes here at all – why not just plain honest folks? You don’t understand: the Mask knows that this is not a hospital for sinners but a health club for saints. Therefore, the Mask should never be in pain. But behind the mask there is pain, and this must be kept from sight. The Mask, you see, helps its wearer hide in plain sight. For without the Mask, wouldn’t people begin to judge? Wouldn’t they say that the Mask’s troubles are of his own making, and therefore leave him condemned to stew in his own juices?

 

What are we to do? Perhaps we might tell the Mask some simple facts. First, you’re right – we can’t see through your Mask. You won’t let us. And even if we did, we’d be afraid to look – for seeing through your mask might expose cracks in our own. We might even have to take off our masks to see through yours. So do not fear us.

But give some thought to your Lord, Jesus Christ. Do not think that you can deceive him, for blackest night is like clearest day to him. But he does not judge you; rather, he wants you to bring your troubles to him. He longs to hear you repent; he longs to hear you forgive. He went to the Cross to have mercy triumph over judgment. Indeed, as he has no mask, removing yours allows sweet fellowship between you and him. Perhaps you could set an example for the rest of us. Repent, and then receive.

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