April 1, 2019
It is so tempting to pull an April Fool’s joke in this newsletter edition since it is being published on April 1, but I am well aware of the high tension that exists during this time of year when appointments are being made, so an April Fool’s joke might be more cruel than funny!
I have to admit, though, that I do love an April Fool’s prank. Last year, when Easter fell on April 1, the possibility of pranks was endless! I suggested to those conducting our Easter Egg Hunt that they put broccoli florets or cherry tomatoes inside the eggs instead of candy. Or, they could superglue the plastic eggs before they snapped them shut. I suggested to the parents of teenagers that they might want to give their children a basket filled with cleaning supplies. And to the super-tired parents, I suggested that they send their children out hunting for Easter Eggs that they didn’t even hide, so that they might get in a little nap before the children discovered there were no eggs. Even thinking of these suggestions made me realize it was probably a good thing I don’t have children!
But why April Fool’s Day? Where did it originate? I was thinking about this the other day and did what all good researchers do. I consulted the internet source of all knowledge, Wikipedia. The article there proposed many different reasons for the “celebration” of this day, but the one that caught my theological eye was the one that suggested it originated in the Middle Ages. During that time, in most European towns, the New Year was celebrated March 25 through April 1. The more enlightened people celebrated New Year’s Eve on January 1 and made fun of those who celebrated the New Year at the end of March. That day of derision became known as April Fools’ Day.
When I read this, I thought, so. . . the ones being called foolish are those who celebrated the New Year when the trees began to bud out, the bulbs began to bloom, the temperature began to warm, the days began to lengthen, the very world began to feel NEW!! Foolish? This time of celebration makes all the sense in the world!
As Christians, our Easter celebrations remind us that God does indeed make all things new. The very earth experiences resurrection year after year as the death of winter gives way to the sap rising, the flowers blooming, the sun shining and even the rain bringing hydration. We are the foolish ones who proclaim every Easter, every Sunday, every day that God makes all things new. As we prepare to proclaim the Good News of Christ’s resurrection, let’s remember a mischievous God who performed the ultimate April Fool’s prank when life triumphed over death, light triumphed over darkness, and Christ rose to bring new life to the world.