My children don’t have Halloween costumes yet. I’m not worried. This isn’t the first year we’ve waited until the eleventh hour. God has blessed me with a creative and resourceful wife who works well under pressure.
I’m confident that by Monday they will have fun and imaginative costumes for trick-or-treating.
For over 500 years, people have disguised themselves on Halloween. Because the Christian Church has traditionally celebrated November 1st as All Saints Day (All Hallows Day in Old English), the night before – All Hallows Eve – was often considered a night when evil spirits roamed and ruled.
People would disguise themselves to fool the evil spirits. They would wear costumes. They would hide behind masks.
Whether you dress up for Halloween or not, we all wear masks. Our public persona is not always who we really are. When we are dating, we clean ourselves up. We try to be the person we think the other person wants us to be. When we are in school we try to be like everyone else. When we go to church, we try to appear to be good Christian people.
Behind our carefully constructed masks, however, we are a mess. Behind the masks lie the ugly parts of us we don’t let others see. Behind the masks are hidden the dirty, secrets sins nobody else knows about.
The masks we wear can fool other people. They can fool your friends. They can fool your family. They can even fool your wife. But they can’t fool God.
God once told the Prophet Samuel, “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).
God sees behind your masks. He understands who you really are. He knows every dirty secret and every hidden sin.
You can’t hide who you are or what you’ve done from God. You can repent of it, though. You can take off your mask and stand before God just as you are – naked and ugly and stained – knowing he has and will always forgive you because of Jesus.
You don’t have to pretend with God. He loves you so much he suffered the horror of the cross – the punishment of hell we deserve for all the dirty sins we try so hard to hide.
He loves you despite the ugliness you so masterfully hide behind your masks. He loves you and accepts you just as you are because of Jesus.
So stop pretending. Take off your mask. Stand before God just as you are. Tell him your shame and hurt and regret. Tell him you’re sorry.
Then trust in his all-encompassing forgiveness. Trust that he loves you just as you are. You don’t have to be somebody else for God to love you.
You don’t have to hide behind a mask.