There are words that are combined to create new words but the way those words are put together tell us something about who we are and what our life together is like. Cosmos means a “well ordered universe”. The Greeks believed in a well ordered universe and that it was a sign of a creator. The Jews believed in a well ordered universe and that was the sign of a benevolent creator. Paul touches upon this when he says that God is a God of order not of chaos. Chaos comes about because of disorder and sin. Adam and Eve and the devil created chaos. The well ordered universe in which they have been created was suddenly torn apart. You cannot help but read Genesis three and realize how much chaos was created. There is a reason we use words like “the orders of creation.“ Once the orders of creation were messed up and God as the creator was flouted, chaos ensued. Here’s where things for me to get interesting. What is the first thing that human beings do when they create chaos? They try to cover it up. Adam and Eve run and hide from God. They cover themselves with leaves, they hide in the bushes of the garden because they are afraid. God being a God of order and not confusion actually gives them justice. He allows them the dignity to stand before their accuser and answer questions. He gives them the dignity of being able to admit what they’ve done. He gives them a chance to answer. He doesn’t do that with the serpent, in fact He never lets him respond at all. “Because you have done this you crawl on your belly the rest of your days” is the response to the serpent. Even in the questioning of Adam and Eve however chaos ensues as they try to blame and cover up. Adam blames his his wife and even goes so far as to blame God himself. Eve of coarse blames the serpent. Their offspring will do the same later on when Cain killed his brother Abel he tries to cover it up with a fascinating question, “am I my brothers keeper?“ Think of what is in that little statement. You’re the creator, you made me, You know all things, am I my brothers keeper? and the answer of course in the orders of creation is “yes”. Your job as part of a well ordered cosmos, is to fear, love, and trust in God above all things and to love your brother as yourself.
Interestingly, we hear over and over again from the nabobs on television then it is not the lying that destroys, but the cover up. Where do we hear a lot of talk about cover-up? Where do we hear words like “I’ve got to put myself together, I have to make myself presentable”, which basically means I have to hide what I am right now in order to present a different face pretty soon. Cosmetics that’s where. I cannot prove this by reading dictionaries, I can only tell you that I believe this to be true by looking at these two words. Cosmos, a well ordered universe and “Metic”. A Metic was a person who lived in Greece but was not a citizen of Greece. You cannot be a Greek citizen unless you were born as a Greek. But you could live in Greek society and you could have all kinds of rights and privileges you were just never considered a citizen. A Metic then would be somebody who tried very hard to blend in, to cover up the fact that they were not born Greeks, and make up for the fact that they were kind of displaced people. They tried hard to cover up whatever deficiencies they may have had in the Greek culture. These were people trying desperately to always make themselves look good so that they will be accepted.
That word then moved on in the application of make up or the products of make up that would hide blemishes, cover-up mistakes and hide the chaos so that one could live in a well ordered universe. Our consciences tell us that we are not fit to live in a well ordered universe and so we cover up. We put on a good face, we hide behind masks. Those images come from the Greek theatre where the actors used masks to play parts they were given. They literally put on different faces. These actors were called “hypokrites” – hypocrites. Jesus uses that word with Pharisees. They were hypocrites, actors trying to cover up their unbelief with a false show of piety. The cosmetics they used were rules and regulations that had a religious connotation.