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Everyday fools

March 31, 2011 2 Comments

by Ken Maher

“The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year.” So wrote the ever-observant Mark Twain with his trademark wit and wisdom … and more than a grain of truth.

April Fools’ Day is celebrated in the Western world on April 1 every year. It’s a day marked by jokes and hoaxes of varying sophistication on friends, family members, teachers, neighbours, work associates, etc. It can be a lot of fun—depending on which side of the joke you find yourself. I’ve always thought a day devoted to fools and foolishness is great as long as I am not the fool in question.

I can’t remember how many April Fools’ Days I spent as a child hunkered down and hoping not to get “caught” by someone’s prank or seen as foolish. Whether you are pranked or not, it’s no way to spend a beautiful spring day much less your whole life. Yet sadly, many Christians do just that day in and day out.

“It’s better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and leave no doubt” (Mark Twain).

How many Christians firmly shut their mouths and hope to get by without being noticed? How many guard their tongues and lives in case they say or do the wrong thing and be thought of as foolish? And why? Because, for many, what Christians have to say and the hope in which we live is simply foolish! Have no doubt about that.

You, dear Christian

  • Put your trust in a God whose glory was the cross.
  • A Saviour who suffers.
  • A God whose power is made perfect in weakness.
  • The author of Life who died and was buried.
  • An omnipotent being who binds Himself to words, water, and bread and wine.
  • A Lord and King who doesn’t reward works or merit, but repentance and trust.
  • A God who calls to Himself not the fortunate or famous, but the fallible and foolish.

Such things can only seem foolish to others, but they are no joke.

“For the word of the cross is folly 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, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe” (1 Corinthians 1:18-21).

“Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed” (Mark Twain)

On this April Fools’ Day, lift up your head and give thanks for foolishness of God by which you are saved.

Rejoice in the Divine prank God pulled on sin, death, and the devil on the first Good Friday. Without it we would be lost.

Join in the joke by which death is swallowed up by life, and Satan, who once made damnable fools of us by a tree in a garden, is overcome by the tree of the cross.

Gladly count yourself as a fool in Christ, not just today, but every day.

As Mark Twain said: “Ah, well, I am a great and sublime fool. But then I am God’s fool.”

Rev. Ken Maher is pastor of Christ our Hope Lutheran Church in Collingwood, Ontario. He blogs at www.hope 4thehapless.wordpress.com/