Most men my age will remember sitting rapt in front of the TV watching “The Lone Ranger” and “Zorro”, probably secretly dreaming that they could be like them. These two heroes fighting for justice and standing up for the poor were best known for wearing masks. And of course the baddies in the stories, especially “The Lone Ranger”, wore what today we would call “face coverings” (see below).
How times have changed! Today, the heroes wear the the face covering, not the eye mask. And it is heroic because by wearing a face covering or face mask we are saying that other people matter to us more than our own right to choose whether or not to wear one. As Christians we have a mandate from Jesus, the One Who came “not to be served, but to serve, and give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20v28). Indeed, in Mark’s Gospel we read, “if anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all” (9v35).
For a Christian, then, wearing a mask is a sign of love and concern for others, demonstrating a Christlikeness in our willingness to serve and lay aside what we may or may not want. In no way is it a lack of faith, or a demonstration of fear – it is an act of discipleship and, potentially, an act of witness.
There’s just one example – other designs are available I’m sure! And of course you don’t have tow ear one with any motif on – but when others are plastered with advertising, football colours and even ghastly skulls there could just be an opportunity here to share our faith on our face. And we may even get the opportunity to “give an answer for the hope that is within us” (1 Peter 3v15).
You might find it helpful, if you are struggling to come to a decision, to reflect and meditate on the words from Philippians 2 below, that come just before the great hymn to Jesus, our Lord, our saviour and our example…
“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
How else could we be heroic with such little effort? Let’s mask our faces, but not the truth of the love that God has for us and for others, and let’s do all we can to demonstrate that love.