Hidden Faces

 17 …I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’ (Acts 26:17-18)

 These verses in Acts 26 suggest that in order to survive people need rescue. According to an inference drawn from various scholars, October ushers in the subject of survival along with its many customs and beliefs around the world. For example in the past some sought favor because they linked this period to ensuring survival of themselves and their livestock during the upcoming dark, cold winter. Others saw this transition into shorter daylight and more night darkness, as a time when the boundary between this world and the otherworld is thinner.  Our text also reveals the Christian work assignment to break this boundary.   

    In the United States, October 31st is Halloween which is associated with and faces hidden behind paint and masks. But who are these hidden faces?  They are the sick, wounded and robbed man lying on the road waiting for the Good Samaritan. The stoned woman accused of adultery. Anita Hill and Christine Ford were hidden figures along with millions of molestation victims who are too afraid to come forward. They are faces hidden behind mental, physical emotional and spiritual wounds. Their masks are not costumes made of paper, plastic or silicone. They are your children, your neighbors, friends, cousins/siblings your nieces/nephews, your spouse and maybe you. You see them every day; but what you see is contradictory.

    Faces of pretense, lend anonymity to those we see daily. But what does this or the hidden faces we come into contact today have to do with the previously mentioned customs and beliefs? Some sought favor to ensure survival; others considered the boundary thinner between this world and the otherworld as we move from Halloween to all Saints Day (November1st) which celebrates faithful people who lived holy. No the hidden faces are not children going from door to door trick or treating; expecting a sweet treat.  But these hidden faces are surely walking around in the dark. They are in need of a light, a sign that the door of hope will open. They need favor, hope that there may just be a place a person where they can find good, a small taste of sweetness in life. The commonality is that struggle contains within it a profound understanding of life in both a natural and religious sense. The implication is the possibility of an increase in good or bad activity. This opportunity is for hidden faces as well as Christians.  Struggling people are waiting for the manifestation of the children of God, us with unveiled faces to reflect the glory of the Lord. We are the house of the Holy Spirit; let your light shine. Do not ignore grieving or broken hearts with pretend smiles, quiet depression, angry youth, stoned teens, the sick or unemployed.   If we do not quench the Sprit and are willing and obedient, the Lord can use us to help someone break through the boundary from darkness to light.   According to the biblical example of Apostle Paul we are here “to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God,”

Yours in Christ

Rev. Von Crigler

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