Sermons

Summary: Everywhere you go people are wearing masks. We are nearing the end of a pandemic that has changed our world in so many ways. I’m not saying that you should not wear a mask. But, hasn’t this experience demonstrated to you how important it is to see people’s expressions behind the mask.

Hiding Behind a Mask

Everywhere you go people are wearing masks.

We are nearing the end of a pandemic that has changed our world in so many ways.

I’m not saying that you should not wear a mask.

But, hasn’t this experience demonstrated to you how important it is to see people’s expressions behind the mask.

To be able to look on their face.

To hold a normal conversation where you can hear them clearly,

and discern each expression.

I’m sure you are aware of the plight of Job. Near the end of the book, Job is trying to figure out why God is not speaking to him,

Job 31:33-34 (KJV) If I covered my transgressions as Adam, by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom: 34 Did I fear a great multitude, or did the contempt of families terrify me, that I kept silence, and went not out of the door?

In Job 31, Job gives his “declaration of innocence”

This was a common practice in legal proceedings in Job’s time if you were appealing to a judge for a public hearing.

This swearing of an oath took on great significance.

Up until this point, Job has been distraught that God has been silent.

By swearing to this oath of innocence,

Job hopes to turn any continued silence by God to his advantage.

In an oath of innocence, you are the defendant.

You are appealing your side of an issue.

The issue is a truth that we believe needs to be expressed so that others can see our side.

People only see what they see, and you see what you see.

So, there’s an attempt here to bring the two sides together.

This may sound a little convoluted but there’s a point here.

If there is a Barrier between you and someone else,

there will always be an attempt to bring the two sides together.

When there is an obvious barrier between you or someone else,

you either have one because of a misunderstanding or because you’re trying to hide something.

Either way, the barrier blocks communication.

I. Masks are Barriers

So, let’s make this idea relevant for today.

Everywhere you go people are wearing masks.

We are nearing the end of a pandemic that has changed our world in so many ways.

One of the most obvious is the requirement to wear a mask in public.

These masks are physical and are intended to keep the virus from spreading to or from the mask wearer.

We have gotten quite clever with these masks.

Some wear flag mask, flower masks, silly mask with cat faces or dog faces.

We have political mask that express our opinions.

We have masks that show our loyalty and identity to various teams.

We have solid colored mask for those that want to stay neutral.

And of course, we have the surgical mask because we did not buy or forgot our cloth one at home, and we picked up the free one at the store.

Whatever the mask we are wearing today, we are wearing them to protect ourselves from the outside dangers that may lurk.

And we wear them to protect others from anything we may have that could harm others.

Either way, a mask is a barrier.

I found an interesting poem by Anna J. Arredondo

Intruders Beware

If you but knew what weakness lies concealed

Within this adamantine outer shell—

What woes, what worries I’m too proud to tell;

If you but once should tiptoe past this shield,

Sidestep the anger I so fiercely wield

In my defense; if you should break the spell,

Subdue the guards, and dip into the well

Of insecurities therein revealed;

I say, if you could catch me thus unsteeled:

One gentle smile my deepest fears would quell;

One loving glance from you—what hopes would swell—

One touch, and all within me would be healed.

__Instead I growl, “Keep out! That’s all I ask,”

__Then hate you for not seeing past my mask.

by Anna J. Arredondo

Wow! Doesn’t that sound like some people?

You wear a mask and I’m supposed to understand what’s behind that mask.

We have trouble with this because most of us live in our own head and we can’t see past “the nose on our face”. Or the mask on our face.

We only see our own issues and problems and can’t see others and their need.

Ephesians 2:14 (KJV) For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

Galatians 3:28 (KJV) There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

II. Masks keep us from service to others

General William Booth, of the Salvation Army’s, wanted to send a word of encouragement and direction to his officers around the world. Wanting to be thrifty yet make his message clear, the general sent this one-word telegram: “Others.”

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