becoming a fool

So today is April 1 … April Fools Day.  I’ve been wondering about this day’s origin.  I found this word history interesting:

Word History: The pejorative nature of the term fool is strengthened by a knowledge of its etymology. Its source, the Latin word follis, meant “a bag or sack, a large inflated ball, a pair of bellows.” Users of the word in Late Latin, however, saw a resemblance between the bellows or the inflated ball and a person who was what we would call “a windbag” or “an airhead.”  The word, which passed into English by way of French, is first recorded in English in a work written around the beginning of the 13th century with the sense “a foolish, stupid, or ignorant person.” ~from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition

Another dictionary elaborates on the word history, “Meaning “jester, court clown” first attested 1370, though it is not always possible to tell whether the reference is to a professional entertainer or an amusing lunatic on the payroll.  Feast of Fools(c.1320), from M.L. festum stultorum) refers to the burlesque festival celebrated in some churches on New Year’s Day in medieval times. ~Online Etymology Dictionary

There is no certain orgin of April Fools day … some say it is related to a change in the calendar when “new year’s day” was moved from April to January.  Others say the celebration of the day is much older than that.

Over the years the trickery associated with April Fools has changed.  It used to be a simple … “your shoe is untied!” … to elaborate news headlines!

In Scripture the word, “fool,” can refer to a morally corrupt person as in the Proverbs; but it can also refer to someone acting stupidly … from the Greek root, “moros” … from which we get “moron.”  Being a fool is contrasted with being wise.  The Scripture is clear that spiritual wisdom does not equate with worldly wisdom.  

In 1 Corinthians 3:18-19, Paul writes, “Do not deceive yourselves.  If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a “fool” so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight.”

It’s not often we want to be considered foolish … especially on “April Fools Day.”  But we are called to be “fools” for God … may it be so!

When we in our foolishness thought we were wise,
He played the fool and he opened our eyes. 
When we in our weakness believed we were strong, 
He became helpless to show we were wrong. 
And so we follow God’s own fool, 
For only the foolish can tell. 
Believe the unbelievable, 
And come be a fool as well.
~ Michael Card

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3 Responses to becoming a fool

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