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April Fools

April Fool’s Day was practically a high holy day for youth when I was a student. I remember being preoccupied with trying to think up ways to trick my friends and teachers.

The best April Fool’s joke that I recall was when the newspaper staff that I was serving on published an April Fool’s issue for our college community. It was filled with contrived stories about campus life. We pulled off the gag so effectively that there are still alumni who believe that a giant hot air balloon landed in the middle of campus the day before the paper was printed.

Although April 1st is not a Christian holiday, it usually lands in the middle of Lent and pundits routinely claim the foolishness of religious life and religious adherence, and why not?

Jesus was first and foremost what many would call a fool. He spoke truth to power. He said and did things that others never dreamed of, and he paid a price for having the courage of his convictions.

Similarly, Christians in every time and place who have kept the faith and followed Jesus’ example have been deemed fools.

Some consider such definitions insulting, and tire of being the laughing stock of skeptics; but the Apostle Paul actually encouraged the Corinthians to claim the title boldly and to become “fools for Christ’s sake.” (I Cor. 4:10).

As we commence on our journey through Lent and experience the increasing tensions between the world’s ways and Christ’s way, we hear again the gospel message and the reminder that the joke is ultimately on doubt, death, and despair; because the God we worship has already overcome these dilemmas, and claimed the victory as won.

Pastor Arlene

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