The fool says in their heart, ‘There is no God!’
Psalm 14: 1
Thankfully, as I write this letter, April Fool’s Day is past and I wasn’t caught out by any tricks this year, though my daughters were planning an email as if from my wedding venue telling me ‘tripe’ would be on the menu! They know my dislike of even the sight of it.
Some April Fools are very entertaining and having a good laugh with people can be fun, but equally we can too easily use fun and pranks to hurt others, even if unintentionally. Proverbs is right to warn us to be wise and do what is right, even in our entertainment and fun.
A person without wisdom enjoys being foolish, but someone with understanding does what is right.
April was named by the Romans ‘Aprilis’ from the verb ‘to open’ recognising it as the month when trees and flowers begin to open and spring arrives. Though it would be foolish not to recognise that this is not so for people in the southern hemisphere who are facing Autumn.
But I like the idea that April is a month when we not only think about, but do things (a verb is a doing word) that make us ‘open to’…
‘open to’ the beauty of nature, new life, hope, the joy of blue tits nesting in my bird box, or seeds planted beginning to grow.
But also ‘open to’…
new challenges, as a church and individual.
I did manage to control my fear of flying enough to take a short trip to Jersey recently. I can’t say I enjoyed it but I am delighted that I did it.
I wonder what you could be ‘open to’? What would push you out of your comfort zone or the church out of its comfort zone, so we can experience more of life, however frightening it might be.
And of course, we need to be ‘open to’ the changes and challenges of our world. It would be foolish not to mention the B word and the impact it is having and will have on so many people. Some see what is happening in Parliament as a big April Fool joke that is unending.
April is the month when we will celebrate Easter this year. An event that includes political and religious misuse of power, injustice, suffering, betrayal, weakness, denial, chaos, confusion, heartbreak, a loss of hope. Sounds familiar for many of us today. And yet we celebrate it as a time of hope and new life coming out of such situations. Of having a Saviour of what seems impossible and a God of resurrection.
Will we be ‘open to’ finding God again this Easter?
Not only in an empty tomb, resurrection hymn, flowery cross or church service, but in all we face in the reality of our living today.
Is our faith still in a God of Resurrection and a Saviour of our world today?
Or is Easter just something that happened a long time ago to other people?
May we, in our hearts not be foolish but say, there is such a God!
And in such a God we will trust and hope and work for what is good.
May we have a blessed and meaningful Easter, as we are ‘open to’ the living God.