By Jon Wren
Whether kids walk the streets of the neighborhood, have a costume parade at their school, or wander the church parking lot at a “trunk or treat,” almost all children participate in some sort of Halloween-type event. The concept is simple: children put on a disguise, pretend to be someone else, and head out in search of what they really want . . . candy!
For kids, Halloween comes once a year. But if you think about it, adults put on disguises much more frequently. On any given day, many of us pretend to be someone we’re not; we disguise our true motives or intentions in an attempt to get what we want. But instead of candy, we seek fame, power, wealth, attention, or status. Even as Christians, we can begin to think we must project the right image of ourselves or to be something we’re not to get what we really want.
That’s one reason Communion is so important. When we come to the table, we are reminded not only of God’s love and forgiveness, but also that we have a new identity and purpose not dependent on anything we do or are, but which comes from Christ himself!
The apostle Paul wrote,
“[T]he glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ” (Colossians 1:27-28).
Because of Christ, Paul said, there is no need to put on a show or pretend to be someone we aren’t. Christ accepts us as we are and is transforming us to become more and more like him.
Today, let’s remember we don’t need to pretend to be someone else to be accepted and valued. Instead, we can celebrate that Christ is our redemption, our hope, and our glory!
Jon Wren works with the Office of Civil Rights, addressing the impact of gentrification on school desegregation. He loves history, college football, and once got a ticket for driving too slowly.