Most of you probably know by now that Easter falls this year on April 1, commonly known in Western culture as “April Fools Day.” One of the most common ways to commemorate April Fools Day, of course, is to play practical jokes on others. Every year, it crosses my mind that I could announce on April 1 that I got a call from my District Superintendent, but then I realize it’s just not that funny!!
I can assure you that I won’t be playing any practical jokes on the congregation this Easter Sunday. I take worship far too seriously for that! But I am really interested in one aspect of the coincidence of Easter and April Fools Day—it’s the same one that was the focus on my sermon on March 4, the way Paul calls us to be fools for Christ.
In his First Letter to the Corinthians, Paul starts his argument with the following commendation:
For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. … For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.
I’ve always thought this is one of the most clear examples of a consistent teaching of the Holy Scriptures, that God is always turning our conventional understandings upside down. God is always using human weakness as the vehicle of salvation in order that it may never be said that what God accomplishes is done by our strength, wisdom, or intelligence alone.
On the contrary, God has equipped us with gifts that can be used for either great evil or a greater good—one that is made possible when we allow God’s grace to work in us. While the world teaches us to seek our self-fulfillment, Christ teaches us that the only path toward true self-fulfillment is in self-giving.
If that makes us fools in the eyes of others, so be it. For my part, as a pastor, I’m doing my best to share the gospel of April Fools.
Grace and peace,