One of the most beloved movies of all time is “The Wizard of Oz”. In the movie, a young girl from Kansas who has been transported to the land of Oz finds herself trying to get back home. She seeks the counsel of the “great and powerful Oz”, a wizard who has the power and ability to get back home. Yet, it’s all a fraud. The wizard is not all powerful. He’s actually a scared, old man hiding behind a curtain trying to appear more than he is. He is far from “great and powerful”. When the curtain is pulled back, the truth is revealed, and the fraud is exposed.
In today’s culture, we like to live behind curtains. On social media, we often portray that our life is fairly perfect. We post photos that make our families look good. We post about all of the cool things that we are doing and all of the fun places we are going. We emphasize all of the great things that are happening in our lives and portray a picture of our family and us that is pretty close to perfection.
Yet, it’s not all true. None of us live such a perfect life. In every life there is conflict and struggle. Often the perfect family picture was preceded by fussing and fighting and trying to get our kids in the clothes we want them to wear. Much of our lives is filled with the daily routines of waking up, going to school and work, coming home and preparing to do it again the next day. Each of our lives contains the monotonous, the humdrum, and the challenges and struggles of getting through our daily lives. We portray a different story in front of the curtain, but behind it, there is often another story being lived out. We hope our curtain holds, because we don’t’ want others to see the struggle and trials we face in our daily lives.
This isn’t a healthy way to live. Life was not meant to be lived behind the curtain. Instead, it was meant to be shared with people who love us, support us and long for us to be our best selves for the glory of God and for the lives we live. Our lives were meant to be shared. Confession, openness, sharing, community and accountability were all essential elements of the first century church. They strived to live lives that were open to their brothers and sisters in Christ with the belief that their openness would be met with acceptance, grace, kindness and love. Curtains came down as life was lived together.
This is the challenge for our church community today. As we live in a society where curtains are raised all around us, we must fight the urge to hide behind ours and instead lower them to allow the blessings of Christian community to impact our lives. We must strive to live authentically with our church family and learn to share our burdens together. We are stronger when we live life together. We are stronger when we share our joys and burdens with one another. There is strength and blessing when we cry and laugh together as we navigate life.
Let’s lower the curtains in our lives. Let’s share with others, and in turn, bless and help them as they share with us.
Life was not meant to be lived behind the curtain. May our curtains fall as we live life together.