Last week was homecoming at Concordia University. The theme for this year was “Masquerade” and there was a colorful display of masks to be seen at the dance. Prior to the dance there was an event where everyone who wished to could make a mask for the dance. Fun pictures of classmates in masks were all over Facebook. Everyone’s mask was different and it was fun to see how each mask was unique and matched the person wearing it so well.
Just a couple of days before, I had been reading on vocation in Gene Edward Veith’s book The Spirituality of the Cross. He writes:
“God ordained that human beings be bound together in love, in relationships and communities existing in a state of interdependence. In this context, God is providentially at work caring for His people, each of whom contributes according to his or her God-given talents, gifts, opportunities, and stations.”
He follows this by referring to what Martin Luther calls a “mask of God”:
“All our work in the field, in the garden, in the city, in the home, in struggle, in government- to what does it all amount before God except child’s play, by means of which God is pleased to give his gifts in the field, at home, and everywhere? These are the masks of our Lord God, behind which he wants to be hidden and to do all things.”
We are “masks of our Lord God”. Often we may question what our purpose in life is right now and where we are going in our lives. Perhaps we feel stuck in the mundane: go to class or work every day, stay up trying to get things done, try to get some sleep so we can get up and do it all over again. We wonder when life is actually going to start. We wonder where we’ll belong. In Christ Jesus though, we already know where we belong. It is in the cross that we find our vocation and discover that we are used as a mask of God.
Matthew 10: 29 reminds us of the fact that God indeed watches over His entire creation, caring and providing for it: “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.” He uses government, parents, siblings, farmers, factory workers, the guy delivering bread in the truck to the grocery store, the cafeteria worker who serves our lunch, doctors, professors, pastors, the staff who cleans our residence halls, and the list goes on and on, to care for His creation. Unbelievers and believers alike wear these masks, the difference being that unbelievers where these masks unknowingly.
When we question our vocation, it is helpful to remember that no matter what point of life we may be in or what our roles are right now, we are the masks of God. He uses us to serve our neighbor, whether that is our roommate, our professor, our parents, the workers on campus providing for our needs, etc. Though we may not know exactly what roles we may fulfill in the future or how we will be serving our neighbor, we know that “we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10). God certainly does not need our acts that we perform in our vocations, but He calls us to our various vocations so that we might serve our neighbor in love and to His glory.
Daily serving as ‘masks of God,’ we will find ourselves coming up short. Being ‘God’s masks’ is a tall, even exhausting, order! But here God uses our vocations not only to serve our neighbors, but to serve us. When we are spent, God brings us back to the cross, where Christ is our sufficiency, our strength, our God–not in a mask, but in the flesh, to save us! We live by faith, by grace, in Christ.
Contributed by Christiana
originally published at www.LCMSYoungAdultMinistry.org