Well, April Fools’ Day is upon us. Has anyone got you yet? Google tells us it’s renaming itself Topeka. My wife also announced to the world we’re moving again. She got a few takers on that one. I have to admit, I needed an AED to restart my heart there for a few seconds.

But actually, tomorrow, April 2, is the real AFD. No this isn’t another feeble attempt to trick you. But from a lot of people’s perspective, what Jesus did on the cross is absolutely foolish. Before you make a move to stone me, hear me out.

“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.” (1 Corinthians 1:18) Perishing or the power of God? Two positions where you can be, related to the cross. Bottom line: What makes it so foolish?

Do you think it’s idiotic to put others before yourself? It is! “Look out for number one,” our instincts tell us, right? How about “deny yourself” or say “no to sin?” This is crazy talk. My way or the highway, right? I want to affirm whatever I feel with a capital “Y” Yes! From Jesus’ perspective, what is he thinking, dying for people who set themselves up as his enemies? For just a second, don’t go all super phony spiritual on me. Don’t start saying “In my three hour quiet time this morning. I was reflecting on just how foolish the perishing really are, and I just couldn’t understand. (Shrug)” All of us should be able to relate to how foolish this all is. All of us say no to crucifying the sinful nature with its passions and desires. All of us accept Jesus. April Fools’ Day is a great day to remember that.

“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” (1 Corinthians 1:21). If we didn’t get it in verse 18, it says it here again for those who may be still a little foolish. Fortunately, getting saved doesn’t rely on being smart (collective sigh of relief). Trust that the cross did it all: forgiving the fools. Trust him by listening to what the message of the cross teaches us about living. Paul, in 1 Corinthians 4:10, refers to he and his partners as “fools for Christ.” Is there any better reason to think about April Fools’ Day, than to figure out how to be a fool for Christ?

First thing to make it Fools for Christ Day is make it opposite day. Listen to what Jesus says in Mark 7 about what comes naturally to us. “For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.” Yes Jesus, in all my experience with people and as a witness to my own heart, you have us pegged. Now enter opposite day. Jesus calls the fools to say, instead of all these things that come naturally, I’m going to start wanting the opposite. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23) Fortunately, fools for Christ are given the Holy Spirit to strengthen us to live each day as opposite day. These are qualities God wants to give to those who sign up to be a fool for Christ. If your experience is like mine, you would agree it would take something supernatural to get you to want to be this way all the time. You’re right! This is in contrast to the world’s standard issue variety of fool. They don’t believe God wants to help you be able to play in the sandbox with others.

Enter the common, garden variety fool. “The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no-one who does good. The LORD looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is no-one who does good, not even one. Will evildoers never learn—those who devour my people as men eat bread and who do not call on the LORD? There they are, overwhelmed with dread, for God is present in the company of the righteous.” (Psalms 14:1-5) This was written by King David, a man who tried being both kinds of fools with gusto. Once again God gets it perfect on all accounts. If we try to make ourselves the center of the universe and squeeze out God, we end up being complete jerks on most occasions. We spend our time trying to figure out how we can make a situation work in our favor. But God is with the righteous. And who are the righteous? Are these the super nice people who naturally know how to love their neighbor? Ehhhh, wrong answer! No one is like that. The righteous are the ones who believe in God and put their trust in him instead of their own way. Romans chapter 4 explains that this is not something to boast about, but is only available because God offers it. Thank God there are not some naturally good folks out there, right?

But David got this. He understood it’s better to be the fool that puts his trust in God than continue to be the fool that did it his own way. He understood it so much that he danced like a fool. Don’t believe me, look: “David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the LORD with all his might, while he and the entire house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouts and the sound of trumpets. As the ark of the LORD was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, she despised him in her heart.” (2 Samuel 6:14-16) By the way, his wife that despised him for looking foolish, she never had kids again, just saying.

So what am I saying? It’s inevitable; we’re going to be fools. I’m sorry to be the one to tell. The decision we have is to pick which kind. I want to be a fool for Christ with God’s help. How about you?

Also, in honor of April Fools’ Day, I want to point you to a free audio book download. “Stuff Christians Like” is a blog of funny observations about the flawed people who humorously try to keep up with God on our best day. He’s written a book that holds some of the funny from his site. If you act quickly, you can get a free download of the audio book. Click