I am sitting in a rocking chair in my bedroom, looking through the big window at the natural beauty of the little stream and trees in our backyard this sunny morning.
I see my neighbors all dressed up, getting in their car to go to church.
It is Easter Sunday and I am sneezing and blowing, so here I sit, keeping these germs to myself.
Ironically, my freshly revived N.E.D. tradition (Yes, I did buy a new dress.) will have to wait for next year.
I think that is so funny.
And I find it funny that today, Easter Sunday, is also April 1st, April Fools’ Day.
It made me think about something I read in Brennan Manning’s “Ragamuffin Gospel.”
The French used to have a phrase at Easter. Don’t know if it is still true, but when Manning lived for a time in a small French village, this saying would show up on walls and signs, also in the church liturgy and as a happy Easter greeting among Christians. It was:
L’amour de Dieu est folie! The love of God is folly (or foolishness).
So I guess it means this: God loves the world. The world is full of fools, like me. (Have you heard what Mark Twain said? “April 1 is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other 364.”) Therefore God loves fools, which makes his love seem like folly.
That is wonderful, happy news to those of us who are foolish enough to believe it.
So today, instead of saying, ‘Happy Easter! He is risen!.” I am going to try out the French way. “Good morning! The love of God is folly!”
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If you’ve never known this foolish Love, if you’ve never been ‘seized by the power of a Great Affection’ — as they used to say in the Old South — it must seem absurd to believe that the God of the Universe loves little ol’ you. Crazy, even.
Manning realized that for he wrote, “Discipleship to Christ is a life of sublime madness.”
So here I sit on this Easter day. Sick with a cold. Laughing. A mad woman. A seized fool. Thanking God that His Love— His Great Affection —is not a joke, not a hoax.
It is real and it is true and I wish Jesus would seize all fools everywhere with His Great Love.
Think about it, this Happy Easter/April Fools’ Day: The love of God is folly!