Easter Sunday last fell on April 1st 62 years ago in 1956. It is a very long time since the day which is often called April Fool’s Day and Easter Day coincided and it set me thinking about the foolishness of faith!
Christianity is a faith of irreconcilable paradoxes, which to the scientific and logical mind alone, makes it foolish, and those who follow – fools!
Christ promises us a cross to carry, along with a Lord who will carry our burdens. Christ offers comfort and persecution, unfathomable love and hatred from the world, abundant eternal life for those who will give their lives away and joy in the midst of suffering! Jesus the Prince of Peace said these words to his followers (Luke 12:51) “Do you think I have come to bring peace on earth? No I tell you, but division. From now there will five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. Paul describes the Christian life like this “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed but not in despair; persecuted but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed (2 Cor 4:8-9).
Is it any wonder that the wise of this world find Christianity hard to fathom.
Paul in an earlier letter to the same church in Corinth writes these words. (1Cor1:18) “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” And a few lines later (1Cor1:25) “For the foolishness of God is wiser that the wisdom of man and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.”
It therefore seems entirely and delightfully apt to me that the annual commemoration of Christs death and resurrection coincides this year with April Fools Day, as all across the world “fools for a God who died”, gather together to celebrate His victory over death, which brings the world true life.
This week’s short verse seeks to capture this deepest of paradoxes in poetry.
The vicar in his vestments
The doomsday preacher in his sandwich board,
Seven old ladies in dusty pews,
Fools for a dead God in a world that doesn’t care.
“I am going to die
But in three days I will arise”.
Words so full of folly his foolish followers were as Bartemeus.
But the foolishness of Friday
Is born again in Easter sunrise
And fools across the ages see the wisdom of God
And the power of salvation.
© Martin Wild 2018