Don’t be an April Fool
Posted: Thursday, March 31, 2011 12:20 pm
The Messenger, March 31, 2011
By members of Obion County Ministerial Association
As you read this I plan to be celebrating my birthday. I will not tell you which one. It’s important to have one but not important to count how many. And you might note that tomorrow is April 1, April Fool’s Day. The origin of this celebrated day is a little vague, but we all know what it has come to mean for us. It is a day on which we can all be fools, as though we needed a special day. And it is a day on which we can be fooled, as though we needed a special day for that as well. It’s a great day for fabricating all kinds of scenarios, of exaggerating reality, and of ignoring truth for the sake of amusement, all in the name of good, clean fun.
God has to be laughing at us that we are so foolish that we make a special day just to show how foolish we can be. He already knows. He’s been watching us since Adam and Eve got fooled in the garden. Maybe that serpent also told them, “April fools!”
Isn’t it amazing how easily, and how often, we are fooled by friend and foe alike. Of course, on April Fool’s day, it’s all in fun, right? We lie just a little to fool someone else just a little, or to make fun of them just a little, or to make them uncomfortable just a little. Perhaps we need to be a little more careful in how we treat each other, and in how we treat ourselves. We are reminded in Mark 7:21-23 that folly, the act of being foolish or acting the fool or forcing our foolishness on someone else, is one of those evil, personal things that defile us all. Other scriptures admonish us to be wise and not be fooled by the demonic powers that surround us.
It is way too easy to be fooled, to be made fools, by our own selfish motives and self-gratification. We rationalize that one drink, one cigarette, one small lie, one cutting remark to someone who deserves it is no big thing. Telling one off-color joke, being just a little prejudiced, cursing just once in a while are certainly things which should be overlooked. After all, we’re just human. But for those of us who at least pretend to be believers, even these small things, and a multitude of others, are those things which define for others who and whose we are. We do not need to be part of the foolishness of the world. Let us remember that God will make the wisdom of the world be real foolishness. If there are going to be fools, let them be those whom God makes fools, and let us not be them.
There is a final note to this. In this season of Lent as we look forward to Easter, let us be reminded that we are to celebrate the resurrection, the defining event in Christian faith. To all of those folks then present, to all of those who thought they had gotten rid of Jesus, to all of those who questioned or disbelieved God, to all of those who then and now are shackled by the fear of sin and death, God whispers gently and with love and with forgiveness if sought, “April fool.”
Rev. Hugh Barksdale
Mt. Zion/Rush Creek Extended Ministry
United Methodist Church