And underlying theme in our lessons from last Sunday is sincerity and hypocrisy.
In classic Greek hypocrisy meant to wear a mask and play a part on a stage play. Thus the word comes to mean to pretend, make believe.” When I was growing up one of my favorite Saturday morning radio programs was “Let’s Pretend” in which stories such as Jack and the Bean Stalk would be told through voice actors.
The word “Sincere” comes from the Latin and originally meant sine/without and cere/wax. A sculptor working with marble might unintentionally chip out a piece of marble. He might cover the mistake with a chunk of wax. Of course when the heat of the sun hit the wax, it would melt. In the same way, the “heat” of God’s judgment melts away our insincerity. However, a perfect piece of marble sculpture would be sinecere/without wax.
Psalm 32 is attributed to David after the Prophet Nathan confronted him for his adultery and murder. He was playing the hypocrite. His life was not sincere. Though he would not admit it prior to facing Nathan, later he wrote, “For when I kept silent my bones wasted away through groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me…I acknowledged my sin to you and I did not deny my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.”
Peter in the epistle (Gal. 2:11-21) Peter began to play act when some men came from James. He feared the news that he was eating with the Gentiles would get back to the circumcision party. He began to act with insincerity or a false piety in which he did not believe. He began and play “Let’s Pretend.” Soon all the Jewish Christians followed his example and began playing let’s pretend.
Lord, as we enjoy the fullness of your daily bread. Keep us from play acting in our faith life and give us rather the joy of our salvation and lead us to daily dine on the “bread of sincerity and truth” for you live and reign to all eternity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.