Today is April Fool’s Day. So many people look forward to this day. Some plan for days or weeks to pull off the perfect prank. Teachers delight in the looks on their students’ faces at the sight of obvious classroom mischief. Parents scour Pinterest to find the perfect cascade of practical jokes to entertain the kids before sending them off to school. Siblings, perhaps the purest of tricksters, can’t get enough of besting each other. Significant others know just how to spoof their loved one on this day. The list of pranksters and “prankstees” goes on and on.
But this year feels different. Does anyone have the appetite for tomfoolery these days? Is anyone clamoring to fill the cereal box with bread crumbs or replace the salt with sugar in the shaker? Who’s in the mood to find the toilet seat Saran Wrapped or a jelly donut filled with ketchup? And no wonder this year feels different. Each day brings new tallies of sick and dead. Many of us are stuck inside our houses, missing friends and family, co-workers and schedules. Others are going to work every day, risking our own health for the greater community good. Fear and denial are constant companions, depending on the hour and the mood. So who really cares about April Fool’s Day?
On second thought, maybe the question shouldn’t be, “Who cares about April Fool’s Day?” but instead, simply, “Who cares?” And that question is one that really matters these days. Just yesterday, it was reported that the family of a 90 year old Lutheran Home resident celebrated her birthday by staging a 17 car birthday parade, complete with birthday posters and shout outs for caregivers. In other corners of the village, members and friends of First Pres answered the call to sew masks for health care workers. Those masks have already been delivered and are making a difference. Meals for Journeys clients who are currently housed in hotels have been taken care of through incredibly generous donations. We are looking out for each other through calls and texts, video chats and grocery drop-offs. Just these few examples – and there are plenty more – show how and how much we care for and about each other.
In the throes of chaos and uncertainty, in the swirl of grief and loss, in the feelings of isolation and disruption to our routines, we are demonstrating Jesus’ extravagant love for us in the ways we are caring for others. And so today, April Fool’s Day, a day typically reserved for pranks and jokes, tricks and “gotchas”, purposely seek out examples of those who care like Jesus does, or if you can, be the example for someone of how much Jesus cares.