Happy April Fools Day!
O come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it, and the dry land, which his hands have formed.
O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. O that today you would listen to his voice!
Do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, as on the day at Massah in the wilderness,
when your ancestors tested me, and put me to the proof, though they had seen my work.
For forty years I loathed that generation and said, “They are a people whose hearts go astray, and they do not regard my ways.”
Therefore in my anger I swore, “They shall not enter my rest.”
This morning I was curious about the origins of April Fools Day. I mean I remember when I was a little girl and the ever popular, “Hey! No school! There’s snow!” really got to us. We hopped out of bed and ran to the windows only to find out Dad had fooled us again! Drat! And then we went on with our days. When I got a bit older, the pranks became more involved and then somewhere along the line I decided that it wasn’t necessarily worth the plastic spiders on my head. Don’t get me wrong, a good flash mob or improv joke goes far with me but the little pranks are harder…
So where did this holiday come from? I went internet surfing…the orgins and histories are debatable. Some say April Fools started when the calendar changed in the 1500s. All of a sudden people weren’t celebrating the new year on April 1 anymore but the frivolity continued. Going on snopes.com (a site that debunks rumors), it is clear that not everyone agrees. Some say that it started by reading the Canterbury Tales by Chaucer and thus began the foolishness. Some say that the nearing of Spring brings this out in all of us.
However the customs began, the lore was soon to follow. Some say that if you fall for the trick, you have brought upon bad luck. In other places the connotations are very positive. Many countries have different names for fools and joy is soon to follow if you are to be called one.
This happens to be one of my fav tricks that took place on the BBC in 1957….check it out…
In all of these traditions, jokes, and ideas there is one thing that seems to prevail…a need for JOY! The idea is to delight in spring in whatever way and to laugh with one another. Laughter is one of the few things we all have in common all over the world. I have learned in my travels that if I can laugh with someone, we have crossed a deep cultural divide. While I am not fond of the jokes played on me, there is something to be said for funny and harmless pranks that make us belly laugh. You know that deep laugh.
Yesterday, Bishop Bob Hoshibata posted more pictures of his grand daughter on facebook with the comment “This is JOY!” And I agree. Delight in it. Find it today and swim in it a bit. Laugh just a little. 🙂