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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.


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