The Masks We Wear
For our final week of the worship series “May the Force Be With You,” we are going to spend a little time with the bad guy. I mean, he’s THE bad guy of all bad guys, in my opinion. I have never seen a movie villain more … um … let’s say “villian-y”… than the one and only Darth Vader.
There really isn’t anything like the sight of Vader stepping onto the screen and commanding the attention of everyone in the room. The imposing black suit, the cape flowing behind him, the terrifying mask, it all adds up to a truly menacing presence. And when you add to that the mechanical hiss of his breathing … chills!
In fact, it is his mask that we will focus on this week. The mask Vader wears keeps him alive. The injuries he sustained in a lightsaber duel with Obi-Wan Kenobi would be fatal were it not for the suit and mask that surround his wounded body.
At the same time, the mask prevents anyone from seeing his face, and therefore being able to truly connect with him. He is eternally expressionless, void of real emotion. The face he shows the world is harsh, unyielding, and mechanical. There is always, therefore, a barrier between him and anyone else. There is a separation.
We also mask ourselves in order to stay alive, don’t we? Over the course of our lives, we have learned certain survival tactics behind which we hide our true selves. Many of these masks are manufactured by the expectations of others, and we choose them freely.
But we lose something when we wear a mask. We lose a layer of authenticity. We lose a measure of connection. We lose some of who we truly are.
So this week we will think about masks, the ones we see on screen and the ones we wear ourselves. And we’ll think about how risky it can be to remove them, and what is gained and lost when we do.
See y’all in church, and may the force be with you!