Palm Sunday/ April Fool’s Day
1 Cor. 4:10 – 13
Preparation: Bring or wear part of a clown costume; even a red clown nose would suffice to help illustrate the sermon.
What does a clown look like? Serious or silly? Do they wear normal clothes? How do they act? (Let children share their responses, and as you discuss how they look and act, you can add elements of the clown costume to yourself.) Do I look more like a clown now?
If I walked around like this every day, do you think that people might make fun of me? (Let children respond.) And if I was a clown, would I really mind if people made fun of me? I wouldn’t really care, would I? Being funny and silly and out-of-the-ordinary would be part of my job.
Another word for “clown” is “fool.” Did you know that the Bible talks about “fools for Christ?” In 1 Corinthians, chapter 4, the apostle Paul writes, ”We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, but we are dishonored.” Paul sort of turns things upside down. Most people want to be strong and have other look up to them and honor them, but Paul shows us how wonderful it is to be a “fool for Christ.” (NIV)
Today is Palm Sunday, but it is also April Fool’s Day. People sort of expect funny things to happen on April Fools Day. It’s a perfect day to throw caution to the wind and be a fool for Christ. That might not mean just putting on a clown nose to bring a smile to someone’s face, it might mean being brave enough to tell someone that God loves them so much that he sent his only Son, Jesus, to save them. And telling someone the truth about God might bring some teasing or laughter; it might make you feel foolish. But being a fool for Christ can save someone’s life; it can change them forever.
This Palm Sunday, we remember how Jesus rode into Jerusalem, riding on a little donkey. Some might have made fun of him. He wasn’t riding on a big, important-looking horse. He wasn’t wearing kingly robes and he didn’t have a conquering army with him or a band to announce his entry. It was just Jesus on a donkey. Pretty funny parade. But the wise people in the crowd, they knew who this was. They knew that Jesus was God himself come to earth to bring salvation to the people and so they welcomed him with shouts of “Hosanna!”
I think that April Fool’s Day landing on Palm Sunday is very appropriate. It helps to remind us that we can all be fools for Christ and shout the good news that God loves us so much that he sent Jesus.
Prayer: Hosanna, Lord Jesus! Thank you for the wonderfully foolish amount of love that you have for all of us. Help us to be fools for Christ and spread the Good News.