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Halloween is coming up, children love to dress up and pretend to be somebody else. We all love to pretend. Sometimes church is the place adults pretend the most. People put on a masque of perfection. “My life is fine, everything’s going well.” We pretend our lives, our kids’ lives are just perfect because we think everyone else’s lives are fine, and we are the only one with problems. We are afraid if people see us as we really are, we will be judged by others and made to feel inadequate. In reality, the masque of perfection is heavy to carry. God knows our lives and our hearts. Maybe it would be good for other people to see us not as perfect Christians, but as authentic real people trying to be faithful through the trials and joys of life.
A lot of people don’t come to church because they feel like their lives aren’t perfect and the people of the church will judge them. Let’s have church be a place where people can “come as they are.” Where people do not need to dress up and pretend to be something they’re not.
If your kids dress up for Halloween this year, use it as a teaching moment to talk to them about the fun of “dressing up” but with God we don’t need to ever dress up. God will love us “just as we are.”
(Jerry Zehr is is the pastor of Crittenden Christian Church. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)