Many people are “gearing up” for Halloween, finding costumes and masks to use for the big day, Oct. 31. Those masks and outfits will be taken off at the end of the day, but how often do we think of the many masks and costumes we may wear on a regular basis? Some examples may be personalities that may be labeled “difficult,” “stubborn,” “unloving,” “addicted,” “forgetful,” “thoughtless,” or “unhealthy.” The list could go on.
Those are all labels the Bible would attribute to the “old man” that we’re told to “put off.” As it’s stated in Eph. 4: “put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; … put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
Col. 3 in The Message Bible puts it this way: “You’re done with that old life. It’s like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you stripped off and put in the fire. Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete. So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.”
This isn’t just a new “costume/mask,” it’s who you really are. Gen. 1 tells us, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.”
God created all, and since God is good and He could not have created anything unlike Himself, all is good. You have to look into Gen. 2 to find the allegory of a second, imperfect creation, and to read the story of a man and woman with character flaws, playing the blame game.
Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer and founder of Christian Science, writes in her textbook, Science and Health, with Key to the Scriptures, “Reason, rightly directed, serves to correct the errors of corporeal sense; but sin, sickness, and death will seem real (even as the experiences of the sleeping dream seem real) until the Science of man’s eternal harmony breaks their illusion with the unbroken reality of scientific being.
“Which of these two theories concerning man are you ready to accept? One is the mortal testimony, changing, dying, unreal. The other is the eternal and real evidence, bearing Truth’s signet, its lap piled high with immortal fruits.”
So, as to those masks we sometimes wear, Mrs. Eddy says, “Expose and denounce the claims of evil and disease in all their forms, but realize no reality in them.” And, “When will the error of believing that there is life in matter, and that sin, sickness, and death are creations of God, be unmasked?”
Paula Broock is a member of the Christian Science Church, Brookings. To learn more of Christian Science, visit the church Sunday mornings at 11 or Wednesday evenings at 6. The Reading Room in the church building at 429 Pine St., is open from 1-3 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays. Also visit cscbrookings.com.