Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Foolishness for April Fools’ Day

For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”
Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
(1 Corinthians 1:18-25, ESV)

Today of all days we ought to charge the world with the message that is to them foolishness. Instead of attacking others with pranks and backhanded compliments, we ought to approach the world outside the church with the wisdom of the gospel. How often we try to impress the world with our intelligence. I recall the time a young man commenting on a movie that a group was watching together. “This is set in Seattle,” he announced. “You can go anywhere by bus in Seattle.” Most of us were from a more southerly environment and had no knowledge of the great coffee city of the northwest. In fact we were in awe of the metropolitan knowledge of the young man.

And then another of the group intoned, “No, you can’t.” and a minor argument followed.

“Yes, you can,” the first speaker insisted. “In Seattle, you can go anywhere by bus.”

“No,” his opponent countered, “you can’t go to Sidney.”

Suddenly the intelligence of the first young man was deflated. His wisdom turned into foolishness right in front of him. Of course, everyone understood (as you do) that the well-traveled young man was speaking about traveling within the city of Seattle. And quite possibly they have such a spectacular mass transit system that no part of the city is unreached by the web of bus routes. Sadly, whenever both young men were at a gathering after that the first young man was afraid to speak because he would be made to look foolish by the second.

Too often this is our own approach to sharing Christ with the world around us. We are afraid of appearing foolish. Think of the message—the sinless one would leave all the comforts of heaven (not just a comfy position, but heaven), become a man with limits heretofore unknown to Him, die to pay for the sins that others committed, and offer the payment so that the actual sinners might avoid death. It bears a strong resemblance to the three-dollar bill. But this foolishness is just what we are called to spread.

How about it? Have you been foolish today? Will you?

Father, strengthen our resolve to be willing to look foolish for your wisdom that others might know you. Amen.

1 comment:

Randy said...

I never thought about it like that before. I am happy to be a fool for Christ. -- RW