Costume Party: Week 1

When I was a kid, I really looked forward to October because it was Candy Month! The end of the month was Halloween, the night when I could dress up as anything I wanted to be and go out after dark in my neighborhood and threaten my neighbors that if they didn’t give me some candy, I would somehow trick them. Thankfully, they always seemed to freely give over their candy without me having to resort to some kind of trick, in retaliation for their lack of cooperation.

But things are very different when it comes to Halloween today than it was back then. We didn’t do a lot of decorating of our houses, maybe just put out a pumpkin or something. Another big change is with the costumes! When I was a kid, the costumes were terrible! If you wanted to be Spider-Man, you would wear a plastic Spider-Man mask over your face that was held on with a rubber band, with eye-holes and two little nose holes, only it was impossible to see or breathe through the mask. Then the costume itself, instead of actually looking the way Spider-Man does, it just had a big Spider-Man picture on the costume, which was ridiculous. Spider-Man would not ever wear a big picture of himself on his costume! So, somewhere along the way, the costumes have gotten better, the candy has gotten better, and we’ve gotten better at wearing disguises for ourselves to hide who we really are and what’s really going on inside of us. We wear costumes every day so that we will look better to the people around us, so that we look better to ourselves, and even so we will look more spiritual than we really are, and maybe we can hide from God.

We Wear Costumes to Hide Who We Really Are.
As a pastor, I sometimes wear these costumes:
  • The Spiritual Soldier to appear more spiritual than I am.
  • Super Successful-Man to prove my own self-worth, when I don’t feel like I’m good enough.
  • The Jolly Jester to hide behind a joke or a smile so I don’t have to deal with my hurt or painful feelings.
What costumes are you wearing that you are hiding behind?

Adam and Eve had the very first Costume Party.

This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. 25 Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame. Genesis 2:24-25

Before anyone ever made a wrong, sinful choice, no one felt any shame. When Adam and Eve chose to disobey God, everything changed.

At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves. Genesis 3:7

They made their own costumes to hide their feelings of shame.

The word “hypocrite” means to play a role as an actor.

When we feel shame because we have fallen short of the expectations of ourselves, others, or God, we learn to hide ourselves.

The source of our shame is the Devil who wants you to hide in your shame.

When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. Genesis 3:8

God is calling to them to tell Him where they are. Maybe God is calling out, “Where are you?” to you today.

Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” 10 He replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.” Genesis 3:9-10

We hide because we are afraid of being found out.

There’s no place you can hide from God.

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. Psalm 139:7-12

Are you ready to take off your costume?

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:13

Take off your costume and come out of hiding so you can get real with God.

Adam and Eve made some cheap homemade costumes to try and cover themselves and they were still afraid and ashamed. God fixed their problem.

And the Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife. Genesis 3:21

The grace of God is unbelievable! God made clothes for them by covering them with animal skins.

This was only a temporary covering. The complete covering would happen when Jesus sacrificed Himself on the cross, and His blood was shed so that your sin and your shame would be covered. Now, because of Jesus, we can live without shame.

“Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them.” Romans 4:7-8