Wednesday, June, 14, 2017 | 10:06 AM | by ledington
Focus Scripture: 2 Corinthians 11: 13 - 15
As I told you in class this past week, I have been reading Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Ethics. I find it to be insightful and pertinent to the life of the church today, even though it was written more than seventy years ago. Then again, the scriptures were written how long ago? Seriously, though – Bonhoeffer’s insight provides an adjustment to how we perceive. Much the way that Paul’s writing to the church at Corinth did. Our lesson today shows that as long as we are not united with Christ, there will be efforts by Satan and the world to distort and destroy.
In Ethics, Bonhoeffer states that there is “The origin” (with God) and “The knowledge of good and evil” (apostasy – not with God). Consequently, if we are looking at removing masks, we must ask “What is/are our mask(s)?” For that matter, what was the original “mask”?
I believe that the original mask was the fig leaf. [I am applying this from a spiritual standpoint.] What happens when we remove that? I think that for most people there would be an element of shame. Our masks are our sins, sins that we nurture and protect – that we justify to ourselves. And there lies the problem, we cannot justify ourselves, because as Paul stated to the church at Rome (Romans 3:23), “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” It is in that precise moment of choosing to remove the mask (acknowledging our sin before God) that we invite God to heal our hearts. To acknowledge our shame and purify us, change us so that we may be clothed in the “proper clothes for a wedding” (see Matthew 22 – the parable of the Great Feast).
An episode from the classic TV show, The Twilight Zone, which I appreciate and may provide insight into this was titled ‘The Masks’. It first aired in March of 1964. From IMDB.com: “Wealthy Jason Foster is dying and he invites his greedy heirs to a Mardi Gras party where they must wear the masks he specially had made for them or else be cut off from their inheritance.” Ultimately, each of the masks reveals who or what they are. Basically, it is a morality tale of how we become the masks that we wear.
But, when we come to the cross of Jesus Christ – we cannot wear a mask. By its very nature, the cross strips away masks. I pray that what God reveals in each of us is no less than Jesus Christ, Himself.