Anglican Diocese of Armidale

The Anglican Diocese of Armidale exists to glorify God by introducing people to Jesus and helping them home to heaven.

 

In Focus

Masks

Monday, August 03, 2020

I don’t understand why people would have a problem being asked to wear a mask. It might not be popular to say it out loud, but we all put on masks. So what’s the problem? Long before COVID came along we were masked and long after it will disappear we will continue to be masked. So what’s the problem?

We mask our looks with cosmetics, our smell with perfumes, and our bodies with fashion. We mask our true intentions with pleasantries. We mask our real desires with protests. We mask our insecurities with bravado or spin and so much more.

We even mask our sinfulness with deception. That’s an interesting mask! Using the sin of deceit to mask the sin of other thing. It’s an interesting mask but not an unusual one. You’ll find everyone owns this mask and sadly wears it far too comfortably.  

We mask our loneliness by playing the actor or jester in the courts of people’s approval. We mask our lovelessness in self-gratifying sexual encounters.  We mask our shame with blame. We mask our smallness by boasts of greatness. We mask our despair with drugged or drunken delight. We mask our darker side by concealment. We mask our faults by claiming we are better than others. We mask our discomfort with materialism. We mask being lost by appearing to be busy and in control.

Such masks are responsible for the untimely deaths of some and ultimately the deaths of us all.

When we mask the truth about our future with God by an unintellectual dismissiveness, death is no surprise. The mask of godlessness is the mask of futility. Take off that mask and you will live, keep the mask on and you will die. Take off that mask and there is atonement and resurrection. Keep the mask of unbelief on and there is…only death. My prayer is: that all masked individuals would prefer to be unmasked and forgiven rather than than hiding and ashamed, preferring the hope of the life that is offered to the feel of being like the living dead.

Interestingly, it was Jesus Christ who first protested about the masks we wear. In fact his unmasking of people certainly contributed to his death. No one likes to be exposed to the truth about themselves even if it is God doing the unmasking.

I was recently sent a photo of a mask that was diamond encrusted. The marketers of image took no time in offering our COVID infected world a mask that would be a fashion statement. An outward mask to carefully match all the unseen fashion masks of the heart. A mask manufactured to make the wearer look good and feel safe from sickness while not exposing the fact that its wearer is sicker than perhaps they understand. Masks can do that…hide the true reality of the person behind the mask. Of course this diamond encrusted mask was costly. Like the masks that cover up who we really are, it was a mask you can’t really afford to wear.

It makes you realise why Jesus Christ protested about the mask. It makes you realise that Jesus Christ is better for you than your masked attempts at life without him.

It defies logic in our COVID infected world that people would have a problem being asked to wear a mask for the wellbeing of everyone. It certainly defies logic to mask the truth about how sick we are without God and to ignore the healing he can offer.

As we put on the medical mask, let me encourage you to take off every other mask and to come to the God from whom nothing is hidden and from whom nothing can be covered up. Take off the mask behind which you hide and let God give you a better look at yourself, and a fresh start with yourself and with Him.

Rick Lewers