We Refuse To Wear Masks (Phantom Of The Opera)

If there are no sick or sad or sinful or silly people in your church, I’m not sure you are preaching the gospel…because the gospel is not just everyone is welcome, the gospel is also: you don’t have to put on a mask here. You are accepted.

The reality is that God’s love and grace is available to you, take off your mask. Accept that you are accepted. 

And when we do that, then our work together is to unmask the injustices outside of these walls—

To unmask the racism and the sexism and the homophobia in our culture—to unmask the atrocities going on at the border—to unmask the culture of guns and violence in our country—we are the ones to unmask the cruelty and carelessness and unchristian actions, because we follow a God who refuses to wear masks.

And so a group of us are going to the Texas-Mexico border in October to see for ourselves the situation there; A group of 80 clergy recently returned from the border and they said that what you hear on the news and from the White House is not what you see: they unmasked the poor conditions migrants are facing and they are telling the story and organizing to work to end policies that are causing harm.

We refuse to wear masks and play games.

When we go and serve breakfast to our homeless neighbors in downtown Dallas, we look them in the eye and we see the reality they face in their faces, and we make this human connection—the homeless are no longer other than us, they are our brothers, our sisters, our friends…

We refuse to wear masks and play games.

When we listen to the stories of our LGBTQ+ siblings, when we hear how the church has excluded and pushed them out and made them feel less than, when we hear how they have in some cases been forced to wear masks to hide their true selves…

we as the church proclaim what is God’s truth that they are loved and accepted for who they are, and God blesses them and their relationships—

We refuse to wear masks and play games. 

 So may you take off whatever mask you have been wearing, may you be real and know that you are loved and accepted for who you really are—and may we work together to unmask what needs to be seen in this world for what it is: 

so that we can right wrongs, so that we can work for a world where there is not just the appearance of peace but true peace, the kind of peace rooted in justice and respect and understanding.