Greetings to the Holy People of God,
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. 1 Corinthians 1:18
I’ve been intrigued this year by our church calendar intersecting with the secular calendar when Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday met and April Fools and Easter soon to meet. I have been thinking about it as a gift and an opportunity that we as Christians have been given to witness to the hope that is within us on these occasions.
There is no one explanation for the origin of April Fool’s Day. Some say that April Fool’s Day was a result of a calendar switch. In 1582 the Gregorian calendar was adopted by the leaders of that time. The Gregorian calendar moved the beginning of the year to January 1st rather than April 1st. Many people either had not heard about the change, or they simply did not want to change. They kept right on celebrating New Year's Day on April 1st, much to the delight of others who then started to play pranks and tricks on these people. The change was just too much for some and those who refused to change were called April Fools.
Whether or not we know the history of April Fool’s Day, we do know that it is a day of playing tricks or pranks on people and if we succeed – catch someone unaware – we call out a triumphal “APRIL FOOL!” As a child, my goal was to catch someone off guard with something stupid or disgusting.
As a witness to Christ, I would like to be a bit more sophisticated. I’m not sure I can pull that off but I can share a story.
“A monk, whose name has been lost in history, was pondering the meaning of the events of holy week, with its solemn observances of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the astonishing, earth-shaking events of Easter. "What a surprise ending," he thought. Then suddenly, like a bolt of lightning, he had a new insight. His hearty laugh startled his fellow monks, breaking the silence of their contemplation.
Don't you see," he cried, "It was a joke! A great joke! The best joke in all history! On Good Friday, when Jesus was crucified, the devil thought he had won. But God had the last laugh on Easter when he raised Jesus from the dead." (taken from http://www.beliefnet.com/inspiration/christian-inspiration/2001/04/what-do-you-do-the-day-after-easter.)
It’s a story that brings me joy and hope, especially in the journey of Lent. I hope you find a way to use this opportunity we have been given as Easter and April Fool’s Day meet. I hope you find a way to communicate the hope and joy that is within you because of what God has accomplished through his Son, Jesus.
Believing It Boldly Loving Everyday,
Pastor Connie Spitzack