Sunday: 8:00 (Inside) | 10:30 (Online & Inside)

Friday, October 29 Devotional from Pastor John Hartman

October 29, 2021 | by: Rev. John Hartman | 0 comments

Posted in: Children & Family

“Taking Off Our Masks”
I love the story of the man who went to the zoo to ask for a job. Unfortunately, the only thing they had available for him was a gorilla costume. The Zoo Director wanted him to dress up like one, because the zoo didn’t have a gorilla. The man had no other options, wasn’t really in a position to bargain, and so, he accepted the job. He took his job very seriously, even watching YouTube videos of gorillas. He would also stand in front of the mirror, and practice his gorilla mannerisms. Outside, he would swing on the vine. When he wanted to eat, he would peel and eat bananas. 
One day as he was swinging on the vine, he lost his grip and landed right in the middle of the lion’s cage. As he is lying on the ground, here comes this big, menacing lion right towards him. The man in the gorilla suit yells, “Help me! Help me!” You might imagine the confusion from the onlookers at the cage. One school group was visiting the zoo that day, and all the little boys and girls had these puzzled looks on their faces, wondering about the talking gorilla. Finally, the lion gets right up in his face, opens his mouth and says, “Would you shut up! You’re going to get us both fired!”
Halloween is a time for us to put on costumes, and put on our masks, but the Christian life is all about us taking off our masks, and being real, genuine, authentic followers of Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul writes, “Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers” (Romans 12:9-13). Paul says, “let love be genuine.” In other words, take off your masks and be real in your life with God, in your prayer time with God, in your service to God, -- and with your encounters with other people whether you know them or not. 
This Sunday is Halloween, and we will be looking at the masks we need to take off as a wake-up call in our lives with Christ and as members of his church. Please join us this Sunday, October 31, in the sanctuary at 8:00 am. At 10:30 am, we will also be in the sanctuary, while broadcasting on Zoom, Facebook Live, and YouTube.  
Pastor John