We had some more physical games in Genesis last night with human netball and dodgeball among others. This was the cue for much banter and debate as to what was fair, what are the rules, are the sides even, are you cheating? etc etc.
For the talk Bethan spoke on playing a part and how it’s so easy to get swept along with the crowd rather than make a stand. When you think about it the bible has a lot to say about this, Jesus referred to the Pharisees as hypocrites meaning they were pretending to be something that they were not. Jesus had enormous patience with sinful people yet condemned hypocrisy when he saw it.
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.” (Matthew 23:27-28)
In the New International Encyclopaedia of Bible Words the Greek words for hypocrite are defined thus;
“The Greek words hypokrinomai (appears once in the NT), hypokrisis (6 times in the NT), and hypokrites (20 times in the NT) denote someone acting out the part of a character in a play. In Greek drama the actors held over their faces oversized masks painted to represent the character they were portraying. In life, the hypocrite is a person who masks his real self while he plays a part for his audience.”
The picture above is of part of a mosaic from Hadrian’s Villa showing masks of comedy and tragedy.
In John 4 Jesus states that what matters in worship is to worship in spirit and truth. He also tells the woman at the well that the Father is actively seeking out those who will worship in truth, in reality, without the mask.
What masks do we use? What image are we seeking to portray? One thing is certain; God is not interested in our pretence. He wants us to be real with him and each other.