April first is no longer honored by street urchins behind a wooden fence holding the string to a purse on the brick sidewalk. The string is now held by soap and vitamin companies and the pursegrabbing is done on television all year round. This new arrangement has many advantages, not only for the vanishing pedestrian but also for the TV contestants, who often keep the purse when the show is over.

In fact, today’s fool is usually a professional. In the Middle Ages any village idiot or dwarf could aspire to be the court jester, but the TV “fall guy” is no fool.

Where then is the fool population? One statistician projected P. T. Barnum’s estimate of one born every minute from the approximate time that famous statement was made through 1956, but since he had no data on the longevity of fools (of course there’s no fool like an old fool), his figure was inconclusive. (This statistician lost his life fording a river averaging 2 feet in depth.)

His work, however, suggests an un-imagined possibility. The fool population has not died out but taken over!

The last sentence is not foolishness. The Bible says a great deal about folly. The wisdom of this world is folly to God. The fool is not a man who merely makes a mistake. His whole perspective is wrong—hopelessly, ludicrously wrong.

In these days when “mal-adjustment” is a capital crime, Christians need a new grip on folly. The citizen of heaven has another perspective from the sages of this world. One or the other is a fool. The apostle was content to be a fool for Christ’s sake since the foolishness of the message of the cross is the saving wisdom of God. Perhaps we should think of All Fools Day as All Saint’s Day, to remember our calling!



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