One knock against Christians is that we are too serious, that we lack a sense of humor, that we need to lighten up a little. April Fool’s Day affords the perfect opportunity to address this criticism.
I like to think the early church had something akin to April Fool’s Day. Perhaps some rowdy Christian teenagers in the first century A.D., for example, would dress up on April 1 like Roman soldiers and storm their parents’ house-church meetings. Well, maybe not. But who needs historical precedent to lighten up? As the TV commercial says, just do it. Consider the possibilities:
Southern Baptists could wait outside in the foyer during the opening hymn, making the pastor think no one is coming. Of course, this wouldn’t work in Methodist or Presbyterian churches.
Mennonites could arrive at church in three-piece suits, complete with breast-pocket handkerchiefs and diamond-studded Jesus pins.
Ecumenically minded Episcopalians and Baptists (any brand) could swap Communion elements.
The principle could be applied outside denominations. Someone could sneak onto the set of practically any television ministry and hide the hairspray. Robert Schuller could claim that he ghostwrote Disappointment with God for Philip Yancey.
I’m convinced the only way to counteract the perception that we are too serious is to take joking seriously, too.
One more for the road: George Beverly Shea could steal a trick from Milli Vanilli and claim he has lipsynced all of Carmen’s albums. Maybe not.
Life gives us subtle hints that often tell us much about ourselves and our situation, or at least provoke us to thoughtful self-examination.
Such self-scrutiny was recently stimulated for me in (of all places) our faculty men’s washroom. ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 60+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more