Pulse – April 2018 – Easter

A Foolish Message — He is Risen!

It feels good to be foolish sometimes, doesn’t it? Sometimes you just need to get up in the morning and put your clothes on backwards. Or play a practical joke. Or do a wacky dance in public.

We practice April Fool’s Day in celebration of and reminder about the utter foolishness of things. Life doesn’t go the way we plan. Foolishness can relieve us of the burden of feeling like we have to have it all together.

That’s why the message of Easter, the message of the resurrection, in all of its foolishness, matters. It is the most utter foolishness of messages and yet, as we believe Christ did raise again and does bring about resurrection in our own lives — we find ourselves embracing foolishness as our central truth.

Think about it — the promise of restored relationships through the simple, foolish act of forgiving and extending a hand in peace: foolish. Or how about that by giving to the poor and the widow out of the abundance of our resources, and yet somehow receiving blessing in return: foolishness. Or that simple elements of bread and wine somehow invite us to a place of radical hospitality, a table where all people are accepted and belong: utter foolishness.

The message of Christ is utter foolishness.

1 Corinthians 1:18 reminds us, “the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” Hear it this way — when we learn to live out of this April Fool’s Message, we encounter the power of the Holy One in our lives. This power transforms what the world might count as ridiculous or foolish into what we know to be life, grace and radical acceptance. The message of the cross and Christ’s resurrection is hogwash until you discover that it’s not.

My prayer for us in this season of Easter is that we learn to embrace the paradox of this foolish story. Foolishness can draw us into a greater connection with life and bring vibrancy to the otherwise mundane logical world. And to step out in the foolishness of faith is to let go of what we hold to be true in order to embrace the possibility that there is something greater than ourselves, something greater worth pursuing.

I hope that we can be like the disciples who rushed to the tomb once they heard the news that Jesus was risen. I hope we can long for the assurance of seeing it with our own eyes, while also embracing the foolish truth that something we could never imagine had, in fact, happened: Christ is Risen!

The message of the cross is foolish — it doesn’t always make sense or match up with how we view the world. And yet it is always drawing us deeper into the grander story of God, the story where only through faith can we fully encounter resurrection ourselves, transformation and wholeness that we all long for.

You are invited to journey toward this wholeness with us here at St. James. We are foolish people, people on the journey, learning and growing and loving one another as Jesus taught us to. Please know that you are welcome here.

Grace and peace,

Pastor Seth

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