Dear Friends in Christ,
Did you notice that Easter is this year on April Fools Day? It reminds us of Apostle Paul’s words to the Church, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to those who are being saved it is the power of God” (I Corinthians 1:18ff). We frequently adorn the cross as jewelry or decoration, and we can easily forget how scandalous was the crucifixion of Christ. The cross was a form of deterrence for crime and rebellion to intentionally torture and humiliate the accused. Thus it was a symbol in the first century for rejection, shame and weakness. Yet it became the symbol for the heart of our Christian faith.
In order to know real wisdom, Paul tells us that we must look at the world with a special kind of eyesight, which is often called the “eyes of the heart.” It is to see how the foolishness of the cross becomes the way God saves the world in Jesus Christ that nothing can separate us from the love of God.
In the fall of 2006, Americans saw an Amish community respond to a school house slaughter of children by an angry man from “the outside”. While burying their own, the Amish sent a group to reach out and financially support the wife and the children of the man. This community of faith summoned a strength that was humanly impossible, and then dealt with a tragedy that had penetrated their world by beholding it all with a different way of seeing. They returned love for evil. By doing so they directed our gaze towards a Light shining in the darkness that the darkness could not overcome as much as it tried.
Some called them fools, and I would agree. But I would add two more words – that they were being “fools for Christ.” O may such be said of us in this community known as Johns Island Presbyterian Church!
In the Love of God that we know in Jesus Christ—-Happy Easter!
Dr. Laurey Murphy