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Dear Friends,

Easter day this year falls on All Fools’ Day, or April Fools’ Day. A day for playing tricks, its origins may derive from an incident in Chaucer’s Nun’s Priest’s Tale which took place on March 32nd (1st April). The story goes that Chanticleer, the cockerel, is tricked by the fox.  At dawn the fox plays to his prey's inflated ego and overcomes the cock's instinct to escape, by insisting he would love to hear Chanticleer crow. Standing on tiptoe, with neck outstretched and eyes closed, the cock is promptly snatched away in the fox's jaws and slung over his back. Subsequently the fox himself is tricked into letting Chanticleer go, so he escapes.  It is also suggested that a misreading of the text as 32nd day after March (i.e. May 2nd) refers to the engagement of Richard II to Anne of Bohemia, a foolish match which brought no advantage to England.

Apart from the date and a vague connection between crowing cockerels and Peter’s denial of Jesus, what has this got to do with Easter, you may ask?  Well, for two millennia people have debated the veracity of the Resurrection and I’m not going to rehearse these arguments here.  The biblical accounts coupled with the change wrought in the disciples are sufficient to convince me, and, I hope, you too.  Belief in the Resurrection is fundamental and central to being a Christian.

Paul in his Letter to the Corinthians argues that if the Resurrection isn’t true, then we are the more to be pitied because we have “backed the wrong horse”, so to speak. If that is the case, then there is no forgiveness for our wrong doing and our foolishness. Furthermore, we misrepresent God, and the corollary to all this, is that no-one is ever raised and all those who have already died are lost.

Paul also suggests to the Corinthians, and therefore to us, that belief in Christ may make us look “moronic” (the root of the word he uses for fool).  When compared with the culture of today, where many think the Good News of a crucified and resurrected Jesus makes no sense at all, it may appear to be foolish to spend our time and money on what is seen to be an outdated and curious way of living which, like Richard II’s marriage, brings us no advantage. 

The question for this Easter is: Are we fools? not April fools, easily tricked; but fools for Christ?

Blessings from your friend and Reader, Helen