this is no longer my blog

Friday, April 01, 2005


Hello. May I help you?

I have received a call.
I recently received the denominational magazine of the ELCA (ingeniously named The Lutheran) and as I was flipping through the pages I found an article that spoke to me. It was entitled Calling God's 'fools'.
It began by talking about how April 1st (that'd be today) used to be the beginning of the New Year until 1582 when Pope Gregory XIII ordered the use of the Gregorian calendar that made January 1 the new New Year's Day. But there were some people who did not know about the new calendar, or they may not have cared, and so they oblviously or intentionally continued to celebrate the New Year on April 1st. The more enlightened January New Years celebrators dubbed these off-schedule revelers "fools." And that is why April 1st is called April Fool's Day and celebrated with all sorts of clever (or not) pranks.
But then the article goes on to discuss the place for 'holy fools," that is people "who encourage us not to take ourselves too seriously."
The article talks about the importance of play, and how play can be a spiritual practice. Jesus incorporated play and humor and jokes and sarcasm into his parables. Even Francis of Assisi called his early followers "Jesters for the Lord."
The authors quote 13th century abbess Mechtild of Magdeburg writing about God: "I, God, am your playmate. I will lead the child in you in wonderful ways, for I have chosen you."
And they quote good ol' Martin Luther as saying "Our loving God wills that we eat, drink and be merry."

So yeah. I think my calling is to be a "holy fool."

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