Today we pray for Alan Harper, Spirituality Group Advisor and for continuing growth in spirituality throughout our diocese #Derbyprayers
April begins with a feast of the fool - the tradition on the first of April to play jokes. I remember a famous April Fools’ joke when a national newspaper printed a special feature warning that due to an ever increasing and uncontrollable disease, bananas would soon be a thing of the past. People were horrified, phoned switchboards, started hoarding. Only the next day was the joke, and their foolishness, revealed.
Faith and Fear
The ‘joke’ worked because people had a fixed form of belief – a faith in the unending supply of bananas - and a fear of what they valued being taken away from them. Faith gives us confidence. Fear takes away our confidence. When faith and fear collide we are easily duped. In our panic there is a danger that we will believe anything. The fool operates in this dynamic between what we think we know, and a suggestion of what we do not yet know. Such a future might be fun, it might be frightening. Nervousness of the unknown makes us laugh or cry – we can no longer proceed as normal. Faith in what we think we know easily gives way to fear of the unknown.
Easter falls in April this year. The month begins with a joke – faith giving way to fear, knowing to unknowing. The same dynamic operates at the heart of our Christian gospel. Jesus teaches, heals, inspires, and faith is raised up in His goodness. We think we know about the good life for human beings, for our planet. We have faith in what we think we know.
Then comes the foolishness of the cross, the tomb. Goodness dies before the forces of evil. The future is unknown. Comfortable faith turns to fear, nervousness, panic. Darkness seems to prevail. Our instinct is to complain, to hoard what we think we have got.