This week was the 75th anniversary of the BAFTAs. The winners of an award received a bronze mask modelled on the concept of the tragicomic theatrical mask. These masks have origins in Ancient Greece, where they were used in early plays to represent the emotions the characters were feeling. The two masks, one shown smiling and one looking sad, represented the Muses of Comedy and Tragedy.
Interestingly, the word hypocrite came into the English language from the Greek hypokrites, meaning ‘an actor’. Literally translated it is ‘an interpreter from underneath’. A Greek actor interpreted the story from underneath their mask. Today the word hypocrite has an extended meaning to refer to any person wearing a figurative mask: pretending to be someone or something they are not.
Also, this week a survey showed most Christians are likely to consider that other Christians are ‘compassionate, loving and respectful’, while most non-Christians are likely to consider Christians to be ‘hypocritical, judgemental, and self-righteous’ and not representing the teachings of Jesus.
Ouch! That’s a painful perception. One of the survey’s conclusions is that closing the gap between people’s perceptions of Jesus and their perception of his followers will take a ‘new reformation’.
May that reformation start with you and me as we take off our masks to be authentically Christlike. We may not win a BAFTA, but we may be involved in winning someone for Christ.
Have a good week taking the mask off,