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April Fool

It was a difficult call on April 1 whether to focus on April Fool or Maundy Thursday. They need not be unrelated. In the end I put up the post that the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury are trading places for a day. Episcopal Cafe had Barbie ordained to the priesthood, Friends of Jake had a new app, the substantiator, and a nice liturgical one from Scottish Episcopal Church Communications, updating the method for calculating Easter and fixing a problem: “This has been resolved by using the New Revised Algorithm which will mean that Easter will be kept on the same day as the Church of England on alternate years. On other years, the date of Easter will be aligned with the Episcopal Church in the USA.”

There have been famous April 1st jokes in the media. One was that the Alabama Legislature voted to change the value of pi, there was a BBC documentary showing Italians harvesting spaghetti from trees; Dutch Television reported Tower of Pisa had fallen over; BMW seems to do one each year. Last year BMW Magnetic Tow Technology (MTT) – ‘This ingenious new system locks onto the car in front via an enhanced magnetic beam. Once your BMW is attached, you are free to release your foot from the accelerator and turn off your engine. The vehicle in front will then ‘do the pulling’ without noticing any change in manoeuverability.” 2 years ago YouTube had all featured videos on YouTube’s front page hyperlinked so that you were Rickrolled.

We don’t know the origin of April Fools day, and April Fools pranks. Some theories suggest it is due to a change in the start of the year. Fools being those who kept to the old year – which started in April. Others even suggest April Fools goes all the way back to Noah sending off his dove too early. Apparently that happened about now.

Around April 1st is the time of year that Christ is made a fool, especially in his trial. Saint Paul often talks about becoming a fool: 1 Cor 4:10 We are fools for the sake of Christ.

Think of some of Jesus’ teachings:

  • if someone strikes you, turn the other cheek
  • if someone asks you to walk a mile with them, go two
  • if someone asks you for your shirt, give him your jacket, too
  • if you lose your life for God’s sake, you’ll gain it
  • the greatest among you is the servant of all.
  • there is freedom in obedience
  • there is God in the poor, in the “least of these”
  • there is salvation in a man dying on a Cross
  • and a little bit of bread and wine is the greatest feast in the universe.

Only a fool believes Christ’s ideas. Only a fool for Christ would try to live these

The joker, the jester, the fool, is the one who can get away with telling an important truth, a strong truth – and doing it through humour – like a political cartoon. Jesus often does it in his parables. If you’ve ever seen Godspell, there Jesus is a clown.

Jesus is God’s Clown, God’s jester, God’s fool. The circus came to town, and they killed the clown, because they did not understand him. They did not like what he taught and did.

Let’s, hence, do something foolish.

  • do a random act of kindness
  • give to someone who can’t pay you back
  • be kind to someone who doesn’t really deserve it.
  • give expecting nothing in return, not even a thank you
  • pray for someone
  • go to communion
  • Pray and give thanks to God for Christ and what Christ did for us this Holy Week.

There is a tradition of becoming a Fool for Christ.

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3 thoughts on “April Fool”

  1. April 1 often falls around Holy Week so my church faces the same struggle you mentioned about whether to conduct some April fooling. Here’s what we did this year:

    We find that offering a laugh on our site provides parishioners with an easy way to share our church’s URL with a friend. At that point they are passing along a link to a funny site that just happens to belong to their church. That’s a much less threatening proposition than traditional evangelization.

  2. That’s awesome, Mark. Thanks for sharing it. You clearly have a thriving parish, and your attractive website is a wonderful example of what is possible. Blessed Easter Season to your community. Christ is Risen!

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