People don’t usually ask, “What costume are you going to wear for halloween?” No, instead we ask, “Who are you going to BE this year?” Halloween isn’t just about putting together a clever “costume.” It is about creating a personal “image.”
Mask wearing is always associated with this time of year for more than two millennia, and ironically, on October 31, 1517, Martin Luther pulled the “mask” off of the Church when he posted his 95 complaints on the neighborhood billboard. He saw the Church hiding and pretending to be something very unlike Christ. Along with John Knox in Scotland, John Calvin in Switzerland, and other reformers, he fanned the flames of the Great Reformation across Europe.
We all wear masks, and some masks are authentic and appropriate ways for us to interact in the world. But some masks we wear mey help us hid or pretend to be something we are not and not be part of a costume, at all. In this week’s text from Mark 10:46-52, we meet a man named Bartimaeus who becomes “uncloaked.” He shows us that when we come “face-to-face” with Jesus, any mask or pretense must fall away and our most basic needs and desires are revealed to the Son of David who has the power to heal us and heal the world, transforming us to be our real selves.
Romans 8:29-30 The Message (MSG)
“God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him. After God made that decision of what his children should be like, he followed it up by calling people by name. After he called them by name, he set them on a solid basis with himself. And then, after getting them established, he stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what he had begun.”
Now, that’s transformation!