Monthly Archives: March 2014

April Fool’s

In 1976 the British astronomer Patrick Moore made an announcement on BBC Radio 2.  He said this, “At 9:47 a.m. today there will be a “once-in-a-lifetime” astronomical event occurring.”  He said that listeners could experience it in their very own homes.  The planet Pluto would pass behind Jupiter, temporarily causing a gravitational alignment that would counteract and lessen the Earth’s own gravity.

Patrick Moore told his listeners that if they jumped in the air at the exact moment that this planetary alignment occurred, they would experience a strange floating sensation.  When 9:47 a.m. arrived, Radio 2 began to receive hundreds of phone calls from listeners claiming to have felt the sensation.  One woman even reported that she and her eleven friends had risen from their chairs and floated around the room.  The date was April 1, 1976.

Or what about his more recent prank?  On April 1, 1998 Burger King published a full page advertisement in an American newspaper announcing the introduction of a new item to their menu, a “Left-Handed Whopper” especially designed for the 32 million left-handed Americans.  According to the advertisement, the new whopper included the same ingredients as the original Whopper, lettuce, tomato, hamburger, and so on, but all the items were rotated 180 degrees for the benefit of their left-handed customers.  The next day, Burger King issued a follow-up.

The follow-up press release said that although the Left-Handed Whopper was a hoax, thousands of customers had gone into restaurants to request the new sandwich.  And according to the press release, “many others had requested their own “right-handed” version” of the Whopper.

With April 1st just a couple short days away, it got me to thinking.  The date for Easter moves around each year.  And in the year 2018, and again in 2029 it will land right on April 1st, April Fool’s Day.

A lot of us have played April Fool’s jokes on others, or have had these jokes played on us.  But what if history’s worst joke turned out to be that we were counting on a salvation that didn’t even exist?

In fact, in I Corinthians chapter 15, Paul raises the “Bad News:”

If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. (v. 13)

And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. (v. 14)

For it the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. (v. 16)

And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile, you are still in your sins. (v. 17)

Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. (v. 18)

If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. (v. 19)

In other words, we’d be the victims of history’s cruelest April Fool’s joke!  But, fortunately, Paul also goes on with the “Good News:”

But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. (v. 20)

For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. (v. 21)

For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. (v. 22)

The Good News is, it wasn’t a cruel April Fool’s joke.  Jesus really did defeat death, and we can too.

In Christ,



This weekend we took our elementary aged kids on quite an adventure.  The SuperStarts program through CIY was not only a great opportunity to help drive home the fact that our true value is determined by God, not by worldly measures, but it also showed them a way to share that message.  This movie is one of those tools they shared with us.  It features our very own Tad Coriell as the Paint Ball Villain.  It’s about 19 minutes long and worth not only watching but sharing with friends.


Not A Changing Message, Just A Change In Delivery!

Just eighty-eight keys, the same seven octaves, and a little bit of change.  For centuries, pianos have been made with this standard number of keys.  Yet somehow, every time I turn on the radio, or attend a worship service, I am drawn in by new melodies and creative lyrics that make me listen as if I’ve never heard those notes before.  The same number of notes, and seemingly endless numbers of great songs.

Since the beginning of time, our Creator has been singing the same song of grace, and forgiveness, love, and belonging.  Though the message has remained constant, found in the 66 books of the Bible, the creativity and methodology of presenting that song has not.  All throughout the Bible, the message has always been the same, but in God’s attempt to get everyone to “Get It,” the method of sharing His message changed.

Today, the Source notes are the same, but in our effort to get people to tune in consistently, wisdom would have us arrange the notes in fresh ways that will reach new listeners, while still causing the old music lovers to grow in their affection for the one true song.  Now you may think that I am talking about contemporary music, but I assure you I am not.  It may involve the way we worship, and the songs we sing, but it is so much more than that.

To reach and ever changing society, the church must be changing as well.  Again, the MESSAGE NEVER changes, just the way that we communicate that message.  So what does that mean for us?  It means that in order to reach a lost world, we need to meet them where they are in some way.

That is why Paul says in I Corinthian 9:19-22, “Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.  To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews.  To those under the law I became like one under the law, though I myself am not under the law, so as to win those under the law.  To those not having the law I became like one not having the law, though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law, so as to win those not having the law.  To the weak I became weak, to win the weak.  I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.”

Paul’s message never changed, but the way that he shared it, the way that he met people where they were, that did change.  “I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.”  That means that at times, our worship may be different, so that we can bring in new people.  That means that at times, our messages, or our studies might be a bit different, so that it might be appealing to new faces.  That means that the programs we offer, the events we plan, and the way that we do things might change a bit, so that we can meet people where they are, and share with them the message of Christ.

Think about that the next time you wonder why we do what we do here at church.  And consider that same idea the next time you try and share your faith with someone.  The melodies and methods can change right along with our changing world, but the message never will.

In Christ,