Skip to main content

Fool for Christ



Our reading from the Narrative Lectionary this week is 2 Corinthians 5.  Verse 13 stood out to me.

If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. - 2 Corinthians 5:13a (NLT)

John Wimber, the founder of the Vineyard churches did a famous sermon called "I am a fool for Christ, whose fool are you?".  Reading this week's text reminded me of this wonderful sermon.  Wimber's sermon reminds us that, as christians, we are called to something truly radical.  The christian walk is strange and counter cultural.  Jesus once explained this to his disciples in John 15 "If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. You don't belong to this world, I have chosen you out of it.  That is why the world hates you."   Peter, in a letter to the church, later referred to all of us as strangers just passing through this world.  

Do you feel like a stranger?  Do you feel like the world hates you?  Are you a fool for Christ?
Here is the thing, you are going to make a fool of yourself, we all do it.  One Thanksgiving as a child I was struggling with the butter knife and I called across the table and asked my mother "can you butter my buns?".  The table erupted in laughter and I was confused.  I had no idea what I had said, or why it was funny.  Everyone laughed so hard that they just could not bring themselves to explain it.  To this day the family does not gather without bringing this up.  They remind me that I am a fool.  We are often embarrassed to do what God has called us to do, we fear we will make a fool of ourselves.  What you need to know is, no matter how careful you are, you will make a fool of yourself.  The question is, whose fool will you be?

Wimber encourages us to own the fact that we are going to make a fool of ourselves.  To give up the desire for self preservation, and to go all in.  As a young minister I remember putting his words into practice and how difficult it was for me.  I would feel led to talk to, or even pray for, a stranger.  As an introvert this was a nearly impossible task, but I would follow the prompt, intentionally choosing to be the kind of fool I wanted to be, rather than an accidental fool.  

Over time the challenges of being a fool for Christ got harder and more demanding long before they got easier.  However, now I can look back, and I don't regret a single one of them.  They opened doors to the moments of ministry I treasure most in my life.  Nobody brings these moments up like they do the "butter my buns" statement.  When we become a fool for Christ it becomes less and less about us, and more about Christ.  Embarrassment fades away as the old self is put away.  Jesus tried to explain this too, when he sent the disciples on their first mission trip, he told them that people would hate them and ridicule them, but that it was not them they were rejecting, but him.  

This week, take a moment and listen to the prompts of God.  If you have ignored them long enough they may be silent distant prompts, but God is still there nudging you. Whatever it is, do it.  I promise you won't regret it.  Be a fool for Christ.

Lord help us to chase after you, especially when it is difficult.  Help us to let go of our reputations and be a fool for you.  Amen.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Death Will Lose it's Sting

Our reading from the Narrative Lectionary this week is 1 Corinthians 15:51-57. In these verses, Paul reveals a mystery, that in the end some will be transformed, given a new body, instead of facing death.  In other words death is not one of life's two certain terms.  It seems taxes may be the only guarantee.   "...in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except  death and taxes ." - Benjamin Franklin. Ok, all jokes aside, these verses are difficult to read.  Paul looks forward to a time when death will have no victory, it will have lost its sting.  But today, we are in the middle of a pandemic, surrounded by death.  Many are scared for their lives, or their loved ones, and too many have already been lost.  Death does not seem to have lost its sting at all, it feels as if it is closing in. When I worked in wilderness therapy I remember holding a child who was desperately trying to kill himself.  We cried together as he struggled to end it, and I struggled

Deeper Discipleship

Our reading from the Narrative Lectionary this week is Mark 10:17-22.  A wealthy man approaches Jesus with great respect and asks what he must do to have the abundant life Jesus has been preaching about.  Jesus reminds him of the commandments, but the man claims to have followed them since childhood.  Jesus looks him in the eye and something changes.  Mark tells us that Jesus loved him in this moment, so he invites him to sell all of his belongings, and follow him.  He invites him to become a disciple.  All of the other disciples had to do the same thing in order to follow Jesus.  They dropped their nets, left their family, and followed Jesus.  In this case, the man could not do it.  The scriptures tell us that he had a lot of wealth, a lot he was unwilling to let go of.  He left that encounter disappointed, because the cost of discipleship was too great.  I notice that Jesus starts with the law as the answer to the question, almost giving a basic book answer.  It is only after