The music and lyrics of ‘Masquerade,’ were written by Andrew Lloyd Weber for ‘The Phantom of the Opera.
I had never given much thought to the opera feeling I would never get to see it. I discovered that it was being shown on TV, alas, I still was unable to watch the production. I was amazed to find the theme running through the opera was ‘tongue in cheek’, a ‘throw off’ at human nature and its tendency to hide from reality.
How subtle of Weber to create this beautiful magical music as a conduit to reveal our paper masks and the masquerades we indulge in just for the sake of appearances and kid ourselves we are saints.
We sit in church wearing our paper faces designed to give us an identity of who we think we would like to be. Our fellow worshippers accept our paper-faces as our true selves because they don’t know us and know no difference. We can fool them into thinking we are who we aren’t. We can masquerade as somebody else.
We can’t hide from God, he sees our true heart with all its weakness, grime and hurt yet our humanity didn’t turn God off from us, he didn’t run from us as we feared instead he ran toward us with open arms and said, ‘I will destroy their illusions, their hidey-holes, their idols and make them true people.’ God sent Jesus to shoulder our crap, so when we believe him, accept him as our saviour, we will be free, guiltless, righteous people as he planned for us to be from the beginning.
I have to put my hand up and admit that I am guilty of hiding behind a paper-face. I showed the world a false face because I had been hurt, criticised, thought of as a non-person who was a waste of space. To live a safe life I created a paper-face for myself.
One day God said, ‘You’ve hidden long enough, it’s time to be your true self. I want to use you, bless you but I can’t while you are wearing a false face.’ God reminded me that he made Jesus sin for me, he who knew no sin that I might be the righteousness of God in him.’(2 Cor. 5: 21)
Jesus took my paper-face and tore it up and to reveal his own beautiful face, he filled me with his resurrection spirit, his heart, himself. I took the leap of faith, submitted to God and turned my true face to the world, my Jesus face. So what if I’m not Mrs. Popularity or Queen of World Missions. I am the child of God, the apple of his eye and nothing can separate me from the love of God, not death, principalities, not angels.’ (Romans 8: 35 -39)
The mask has been torn away, ‘ I have put off the old man and have put on the new man, which is renewed in the knowledge after the image of Him Who created me’ (Colossians 3:9-10). How different life is; the circumstances, the people, the ups and downs of life are still the same but I see them all from being a new person.
I don’t know about you, my friend, but life without the paper mask is a lot richer, truer and joyous and Christlike. ‘ I show forth the praises of God who has called me out of darkness into His marvelous light’ (1 Peter 2:9).