High River United Church of High River, Alberta

Who Is That Masked Man?

At the end of each episode, someone would ask the sheriff, “Who was that masked man?” They of course were referring to the Lone Ranger, the lead character played in the infamous and aptly named 1950’s television hit show. Of course, the Lone Ranger’s character dates to the original radio show of the 1930’s. The masked man has a rich and famous history.


As I left the Barber Shop the other day, I swear I heard someone say, “Who was that masked man?” (Or maybe I said it myself, just to get a smile—I did). You can see the reason for my stream of consciousness here. Indeed, I was a masked man! And proud to stand in the company of many masked heroes and superheroes… from the Lone Ranger to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Spider Man, Bat Man, Wonder Woman, and the Incredibles—they were all masked! But one question remains: cape, or no cape?


Here we are living these pandemic times learning to take up a relationship with the mask. The cool thing about superheroes is that they always put the best interest of their city or world ahead of their own needs. They were always about serving “the common good” even if it meant self-sacrifice on their part. That’s why we wear masks in pandemic times. You see, it’s not about whether we like it or not, or whether it’s a nuisance or not, or whether it infringes on our rights or freedoms or not. It is about the common good. It is about putting the needs of others ahead of our own sense of individual entitlement or privilege or rights.


At the end of the day, wearing a mask is not about me. It IS about the well-being of the other. And that’s the superhero way! And that’s why I am learning to play with my mask.


At the root of honouring the common good is Jesus’ message to love our neighbour. To wear a mask is the Christian thing to do. It’s showing our love for each other. it’s a visible action that says, “I care about you.” And you wearing a mask says, “That you care about me”! It could very well be that the lesson the pandemic is teaching us about love of neighbour is the very thing that will eventually curb its impact on our going forward.


So, this fall, High River United Church continues to discern how best to go forward with in-person prayers and study groups. And we are all going to be wearing masks when we gather as groups inside the church building. Yes, we are working towards slowly opening our facility to smaller gatherings. Safety measures and protocols will be in place so that we can do that. At the same time, our congregation is signalling that Sunday morning worship is best served by Zoom for the foreseeable future. Larger indoor gatherings are now known to be a higher risk for infection and given that many of our people are over 65 years of age, we need to be cognizant of that fact.


In the meantime, watch for announcements in early Fall about new adventures with study groups offered in-person and online. Watch for mid-week prayers starting. Let’s play with the superhero in each of us as we endeavour to follow the love and wisdom of Jesus. And… by the way, who was that masked man?



"Who is that masked man?" with Rev. Susan

 Happy Masked face

With warm blessings,

Rev. Susan and Rev. David

August 10, 2020 

High River United Church                                                                                                          

 – a community of help, home & hope following the Way of Jesus.







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123 MacLeod Trail S.W. High River, Alberta.

(403) 652-3168


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