The Greatest April Fools Joke of All Time
My awesome find from a different yard sale.
How crazy is it that April Fools Day should be happening during Holy Week? This, the most solemn of times for Christians around the world…and what pops up but a day that celebrates pranks and jokes? “I just flew in and my arms are tired.”
But seriously folks, we are marching toward Good Friday – a day that by all accounts is definitely misnamed – as we await the glorious resurrection on Sunday morning. The secular world looks around and, if they really dwell on it – know that we are a crazy, crazy people.
Last Friday, I went to the estate sale of a clown. A real, live, certified clown. The man was well known for annually leading the children’s parade that kicked-off our city’s art fair. Word had it that he was injured in a fall and had moved to assisted living. I didn’t know his name, but I did know his car with its bumper sticker proudly proclaiming, “Dog is my co-pilot.” His whole clown collection was being sold off, over-sized shoes and all. And, it made me sad.
In 1 Corinthians 4:9-13 we are called to be “fools for Christ” – we are to be the original clowns! I especially love how Eugene Petersen states it in The Message:
It seems to me that God has put us who bear his Message on stage in a theater in which no one wants to buy a ticket. We’re something everyone stands around and stares at, like an accident in the street. We’re the Messiah’s misfits. You might be sure of yourselves, but we live in the midst of frailties and uncertainties. You might be well-thought-of by others, but we’re mostly kicked around. Much of the time we don’t have enough to eat, we wear patched and threadbare clothes, we get doors slammed in our faces, and we pick up odd jobs anywhere we can to eke out a living. When they call us names, we say, “God bless you.” When they spread rumors about us, we put in a good word for them. We’re treated like garbage, potato peelings from the culture’s kitchen. And it’s not getting any better.
As clowns for Christ, we are to proclaim the wonderful news that Jesus defied death! Jesus has come to set us all free! Jesus wants us to live a life that proclaims good news to the poor, release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind! Jesus wants us to be generous with all that we have and all that we are! He doesn’t want us to wait to get to heaven – Jesus wants us to establish the kingdom right here and now! Ladies and germs, that is the craziest, most foolish thing I have ever heard…and it’s why I believe.
Jesus pulled a fast one on his disciples. They thought death was the final answer - until they saw that boulder rolled away. Lucky us, we already know the end of the story. Now it’s up to us to live like a clown, a fool for Christ, a Messiah misfit…and proclaim the Good News.
Pssst…guess what? The greatest punchline ever recorded is coming this Sunday. Happy April Fools Day.
Cesie Delve Scheuermann is a consultant in stewardship, development, and grant writing. Over the past decade, while working as a volunteer and part-time consultant, she helped raise over $2 million dollars for numerous non-profit organizations. She served as the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference Lay Leader from 2008-2012. She does not collect clown stuff but loves her $10 original oil she found last year...her family, however, is horrified. Her position with the Conference is funded through a generous grant from the Collins Foundation. You can reach her at email@example.com.
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Cesie Delve Scheuermann is consultant in grant writing and stewardship/development working with the Conference. From 2008-12 she was the Conference Lay Leader for the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference.