Rev'd Charles - April 2018

posted 8 May 2018, 07:36 by Richard Jones

‘Fools for Christ?’ 

 April 1st is here again and with it All Fools Day but what lies behind this unusual event? Well its origins may lie in several pagan festivals. For instance there was the Roman end of winter orgy ‘Hilaria’, and the Celtic celebration when the god Lud cured the curse of demons by spraying them with a brew of crushed insects in water! There is also the story of Persephone. In this Greek myth she was snatched away by Pluto, the god of the underworld, from her mother the corn spirit Ceres who followed the trail of Persephone’s indignant shrieks across the land to no avail – the original ‘fool’s errand’! 

 Or there again, All Fools may simply be the day commemorating Christ being mocked and tormented before his crucifixion (Luke 23:32 – 43, Matthew 27: 32 -43). Whatever the background, at noon the foolery must cease! 

 But in the New Testament we meet two other sorts of ‘fool’. There is the fool whose foolishness is seen not simply in the rejection of wisdom but particularly in the rejection of the source of all wisdom, God Himself (Psalm 14:1, Romans 1:18 -32). In fact, it was the failure of Jesus’ disciples to understand that the death and resurrection of Christ had been foretold by the prophets which led the risen Jesus to say, ’How foolish you are’ (Luke 24:25), because as he had said to the religious leaders, “You are wrong because you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God” (Matthew 22). 

 However, there is yet another sort of ‘fool’ in the Bible and this is the ‘fool’ whose life has been transformed by Jesus.  Saint Paul, one of the ancient world’s greatest thinkers, could later speak of himself as a Fool for Christ (1 Corinthians 4:10) once he had encountered the risen Christ on the road to Damascus (Acts 9). For it was this life changing experience which then impelled him (2 Corinthians 5:14) to preach Christ crucified and to live for Christ (1Corinthians 1). 

 So who might be a fool today? Well we are all conscious of times when we have acted foolishly. We have said or done things we later regret, we have allowed ourselves to be fooled by others, or we know we have acted unwisely. None of us are perfect! 

 But if it’s true that Jesus Christ is ‘the power and wisdom of God’ (1 Corinthians 1:24) then surely the wisest thing would be to listen to what he has to say. And what God requires and desires is this: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind, and love your neighbour as you love yourself.” Or as another translation puts it, “Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence. Love others as well as you love yourself” (Matthew 22 - The Message). 

 For after all, said Jesus, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’ and yet don’t do what I tell you? Anyone who hears my words and does not obey them is like a man who built his house without laying a foundation; when the flood hit that house it fell at once – and what a terrible crash that was!” (Luke 6) So, if you want to build your life on sure foundations listen to Christ even if others may think you are a Fool for Christ!