Happy New Year!
Easter arrives next Sunday, March 31st and the very next day, April 1st is April Fools Day. I did some research on April Fools Day this week and according to Wikipedia the practice of April Fools Day started in the Middle Ages. At that time New Year's Day was celebrated on March
25 in most of Europe and in many places it was
celebrated as a week-long holiday that ended on April 1. Naturally, those who
chose to celebrate New Years day on January 1st made fun of those
who celebrated it in April.
This year, April 1st marks the beginning of another kind of year. With Easter coming just the day before, April 1st marks the beginning of the season of Easter that will last for eight weeks until Pentecost Sunday, May 19th. It marks the beginning of a time in the church when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the new life of redeeming love and forgiveness and the sure sign of our own new life in Christ.
While on the cross, Jesus said, ‘It is finished.’ And it was indeed. God’s redeeming work was done. Easter marks the end of Satan’s reign, the end of Satan’s hope for eternal victory and the end of Satan’s hold on the earth.
And so this year, April 1st will be more than a day to play practical jokes on each other and it will be more than a day to celebrate New Year’s in warmer weather than in January. This year it will be a day to celebrate the eternal joke played on Satan, the day when Satan’s victory was turned into defeat and the day when Jesus’ resurrection set us free from the curse of sin and death.
And so, this year, on April 1st, let’s all celebrate the practical joke played on Satan. Let’s laugh and be gay. It is finished. He has done it. Life has conquered death. Love has conquered hate. Faith has conquered doubt.
Happy New Year! See you in church Sunday!