Oh, to be in England…..(Thought for April 2018)

March 30, 2018

in Monthly comment

Oh, to be in England now that April ’s there …

In 2014, King’s College, Cambridge released a YouTube video detailing their decision to discontinue the use of boy sopranos and instead use grown men who have inhaled helium gas. Did you notice any difference in Carols from Kings last Christmas Eve?
Fancy Easter Sunday falling on April Fool’s Day! The last time this happened was 62 years ago in 1956. I was reading (probably a fake story) that Pope Francis was intending banning April Fool’s Day this year because of Easter, and proposing two next year instead!

The origin of April Fool’s Day is uncertain, but seems to have started in the early 1700s when people would set out to play jokes on one another, and then call out “April Fool” when the victim was caught out by the practical joke. I can remember having them played on me at school (and playing a few myself!).

But Easter Day, the day of the Resurrection of Christ, falling on a Fool’s day—can that be right?

Well let’s think—the psalm writer, King David, in Psalm 14:1 wrote: The fool says in his heart,”There is no God.” And indeed, so many people think of God and of Christ dying on the cross to redeem us as, at best a myth and at worst just a joke, and that he should have risen again to give eternal life to all who believe and trust in him as sheer foolishness. So to such people, the fact of Easter Sunday falling on the 1st April must seem a joke.

But we know, don’t we, that the death of Jesus Christ was anything but a joke—it was the most solemn and amazing thing that could have ever happened in this sin debased world. John 3:16 can’t help but being perhaps the most quoted text in the Bible (Even Alexa can quote it!) because it makes so clear that God, who is very much alive, so loved the world of sinners that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes on Him will not perish – as all the real fools in the world will – but have eternal life.

The apostle Paul, who had had such a dramatic change in his life on that road to Damascus, wrote about those unbelieving people in his first letter to the church at Corinth. He said: ‘For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.’

The idea of April Fool’s Day, or All Fools’ Day, is to make fools of other people, make them feel foolish. Actually that’s exactly what God did for those who by their own reasoning say he doesn’t exist. Paul continues in his letter: ‘Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.’ And what was preached, and is still preached here at Rehoboth?

‘Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.’

But tell me, have you, who are reading this now, really believed and obeyed the call of Jesus Christ to follow him and honour him? From what God’s Word says, I have to deduce that if you have not, you are acting as a fool. The message for you is, Don’t be fooled; Believe!
But the burden for those of us who have believed is surely summed up in the challenge of Fanny Crosby’s hymn:

Rescue the perishing, care for the dying, Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave; Weep o’er the erring one, lift up the fallen, Tell them of Jesus, the mighty to save.

Rescue the perishing, Care for the dying; Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save!



April 2018

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