The wise can see where they are going, but fools walk in the dark.
Something to think about
A proper April Fool’s Day prank requires two key elements:
- First, one must devise a scenario that has the illusion of truth, so as to lure in unsuspecting victims.
- Secondly, once hoodwinked, the scenario must then make the innocent believer look totally ridiculous, so that everyone else can have a good laugh!
It has to be both real enough and foolish enough, in the same breath. In fact, the exercise itself can reveal the startling level of falsehoods which people are prepared to accept and believe, as well as to lie about and manipulate with!
Today many of us live in a society that can rightly be called ‘post-modern’ or even ‘post-truth’. ‘Fake news’ isn’t just a Donald Trump slur; instead it captures a generational culture of cynicism towards any truth claim. Against such unstable ground, it can become so easy to both fool and be fooled. As the saying goes, 'Those who believe in nothing will fall for anything'.
In Psalm 53, the writer picks up on a much wider Biblical tradition of contrasting ‘foolishness’ from ‘wisdom’. This is reflected throughout the Old Testament, for example in Ecclesiastes 2:14: ‘The wise can see where they are going, but fools walk in the dark’.
And again in the New Testament, when Jesus says in Matthew 7:24,26: ‘Wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock… foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand’.
Indeed, St Paul suggests in 1 Corinthians 1:20-21 that Godly wisdom is equivalent to earthly foolishness, and Godly foolishness equivalent to earthly wisdom!
Therefore, this Lent, in drawing closer to God, do we need to ask ourselves, ‘Are we being fooled?’
Are there powerful forces in the world that use us for their April Fool’s Day pranks, hoping that we will be conned into believing that social inequality, militarisation, gender discrimination, tax evasion, racism, sexual exploitation and the destruction of the environment are justifiable and acceptable values?
Or will God look 'down from heaven on humankind, to see if there are any who are wise’?
Something to pray
grant us wisdom in our quest for your truth.
Jesus Christ, help us to see through the foolishness of the world,
to recognise your eternal love that may seem at odds with so much around us.
Holy Spirit, guide us on our journey for justice and freedom
and lead us into your unending wisdom.