Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Springfield Today, April 3, 2018

April 3, 2018 by  
Filed under Blog

Good Moanin’ Springfieldians,

I missed calling my mom on Sunday.  Not because it was Easter but because it April 1st. I had pulled a many April Fools’ pranks on my beloved mother.

But I remember, some years ago now, Lauren and Andrew had told us on Easter Sunday evening that she was expecting, and so I called my mom and told her that we were so excited to be grandparents again, and she was going to a great-grandmother again, that would make number four for her.

Her response.  “Call me tomorrow and I may believe you.”

I guess at age 80 she was finally catching on.  Who said, “You can’t teach an old dog a new trick.”

It started at a very young age for me – putting salt in the sugar bowl, and sugar in the saltshaker; rubber banding the kitchen sink sprayer – and many other April Fools’ pranks.  It escalated to when in college I convinced her in a phone call that I had enlisted in the army (she was so upset); and then even once here (some of you will remember) when my parents came down to visit for a weekend, and it happened to be the weekend that included April 1st, for the entire time I pretended to have a broken arm.  I even went out and bought a fake cast, just so I could carry off the joke and then during the sermon on that Sunday morning, which happened to be April 1st, I took off the cast and said to my mom “April Fools.”

So, for nearly all my life I’ve been able to fool my mom on April Fools’ Day.  But not that last year.  She simply said, “Call me tomorrow and I may believe you.”

I did a little research on the origins of the day.  April Fools’ Day is celebrated in many countries on April 1st every year. Sometimes referred to as All Fools’ Day. It, of course, isn’t a national holiday, but is widely recognized and celebrated as a day when people play practical jokes and hoaxes on each other.

The earliest recorded association between April 1st and foolishness is an ambiguous reference in Chaucer‘s Canterbury Tales (1392). Many writers suggest that the restoration of January 1st by Pope Gregory XIII as New Year’s Day of the Gregorian Calendar in the 16th century was responsible for the creation of the holiday.  In Italy, France and Belgium, children and adults traditionally tack paper fishes on each other’s back as a trick and shout “April fish!” in their local languages. Such fish feature prominently on many French late 19th to early 20th century April Fools’ Day postcards. Iranians play jokes on each other on the 13th day of the Persian New Year, which falls on April 1st or April 2nd.  According to some anecdotal sources, the British introduced April Fools’ Day to the Filipinos between 1762-1764. This was during the British invasion of the Philippines when British forces backed up by Indian Sepoy troops occupied the then Spanish citadel of Manila and the surrounding areas. Perhaps the Indian (Sepoy) troops introduced too the Holi festival of India to the Filipino subjects. To mark a subject with a yellow sash or sintas was for display to fellow British soldiers for mockery. Today in the Philippines, tradition has evolved, as a prankster would mark the victim harmlessly with the color yellow; dyed clothing, painting, and a yellow fish.

In Poland, it’s a day full of jokes; various hoaxes are prepared by people, media (which sometimes cooperate to make the “information” more credible) and even public institutions. Serious activities are usually avoided.  In Scotland, April Fools’ Day is traditionally called Hunt-the-Gowk Day (“gowk” is Scots for a cuckoo or a foolish person), although this name has fallen into disuse. The traditional prank is to ask someone to deliver a sealed message requesting help of some sort. In fact, the message reads “Dinna laugh, dinna smile. Hunt the gowk another mile”. The recipient, upon reading it, will explain he can only help if he first contacts another person, and sends the victim to this person with an identical message, with the same result. And we’ve all heard of some great pranks that were carried off on April Fools Day.

But as I thought about it I wondered how many of us are willing to be what Paul called himself to the Corinthians?  He said, “We are fools for Christ…” (I Corinthians 4:10 NIV) And earlier in his letter he reminded them –

Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”

Are you willing, on this day, April 3rd, to be a “fool for Christ”?


What You Need to Know…

Continue to pray for Jeff Owen’s family. His father’s funeral was this morning. 

Springfield Zone Missions Rally is at Taylorville Church this Saturday, April 7th at 6:00pm. Eastern Mediterranean missionaries Cliff and Heiki Wright will speak. There will be a FULL camp scholarship drawing.

Church Elections will be April 22 & 29 from 9:00-10:15am.

Shelter Ministry is Sunday, April 8th at 3:00pm in the kitchen. Meals are prepared by our volunteers and delivered to Ronald McDonald House and Helping Hands. Everyone is invited to help!

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