April 1… what is this day called?

So here we are with another of those dates that come round once a year. Some are global changing, even if we have the dates wrong – the ‘big’ dates: Easter, Pentecost, Christmas. Then there are the personal dates – birthdays etc… They seem to mean something if there is some kind of link to the growing number we experience and the development of who we are in becoming who we are. Then there are artificial dates, and this one is perhaps one of the better ones – April fool’s day.

Once a year it seems appropriate to have a day that reminds us how foolish we can be. Paul tied two aspects together within a sentence of each other. He was a fool and he was an apostle:

I have been a fool! You forced me to it… The signs of an apostle were performed among you with utmost patience, signs and wonders and mighty works (2 Corinthians 12:11,12).

He was a fool, forced into it by the people who were not up for rating him, so he boasted in his transcendent experience of being properly in the third heaven. Should he have done that? I think even for Paul the jury was out whether he did the right thing or not. There are clear transcendent experiences, angelic visitations and other experiences that are very difficult to really work out what ‘happened’ – and that probably is not the question we should be asking as it makes what we understand, can touch, feel as being the only reality. Can we process the realities that are beyond that?

Even if Paul was OK in the ‘boasting’ that he puts out there, it is probably a sensible conclusion that he only mentions one of his experiences, thus it probably means we should be very careful in what we share, for the effect is that of exalting ourselves in the eyes of others – not really the ‘kingdom’ way to go! Paul indicates the way to go is to boast in our weaknesses: not the material that sells books!

Then off he goes to what he is sure about, his apostolic call, in spite of his weaknesses. That long term vision that manifests in the immediate. The immediate of the miraculous and the long term vision that accompanies ‘utmost patience’.

If we are open to being a ‘fool’, of recognising (at least once a year) that our maturity does not accord to our age, perhaps it might open up for us getting connected to our purpose and embracing that our contribution today is for the long-term future.

[Perhaps an aside: I am currently focused that perhaps we have been wrong to focus on ‘power’ and attribute to God ‘power’… Maybe it is presence not power that is the major attribute – did creation spring forth as a result of God’s creative power, or his creative presence – yes has implications for the ‘how old is creation’ question and a whole bunch of others. But if this is not an aside – Paul is present and the miraculous takes place… I know if this has any legs I have a lot of ‘power’ Scriptures to work through, but hey ho! Aside or not – April fools day maybe tells me to be present – warts and all – or maybe in Paul’s language – as a fool and as someone appointed within God’s order, even if that appointment is undefined or small.]

2 thoughts on “April 1… what is this day called?

  1. I suppose it depends what you mean by power? It is such a loaded word and in the modern way of thinking implies domination and prestige through control yet it can mean an ability, capacity or even a gift too? It doesn’t fit in with the nature of God to go with the former understanding as God does not act in that way and is so committed to not controlling things that he gives us total free will and autonomy in our decision making processes even as we mess up. I probably think he has power but chooses not to use it most of the time?. I don’t know – it is confusing because you make a good point and I would need to understand the scriptures better and hear more about your perspective too?

    I agree that the over sharing of personal supernatural experiences is not always that helpful and can lead to the idea of ‘levels’ and some being seen as superior to others but being in it (the faith) for the long haul despite everything is probably a stronger testimony in the end. Running the race etc. Certainly being aware of our foolishness keeps us grounded and from getting proud.

  2. Re: Power
    We humans don’t do well with power. At least not in the earthly realm. While I know Paul’s saying that we’ve been given a spirit of power, love & sound mind . . . I also think of Tolkien’s story of the 9 rings given to mortal men “who above all else desire power). Too often I have seen Ekklesia seek after power with disastrous results. I seek nought but Love to be the goal. I like to think that I have a “sound mind”, but the jury is still out on that . . .

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