Ash Wednesday begins the 40-day period in the Christian calendar known as Lent. Many Christians use this time to prepare for Good Friday, and ultimately Resurrection Sunday (Easter).
This year, Ash Wednesday falls on February 14th – St. Valentine’s Day. Resurrection Sunday falls on April 1 – April Fools' Day.
I love the allegories nested in this juxtaposition of Ash Wednesday with Valentine’s Day, and Resurrection Sunday with April Fool’s Day.
In the first, I am reminded of the Biblical ‘love’ verse favored among many Christians: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
In other words, God loves us so much that He gave the best He could give, so we might live in His love eternally.
In the second allegory, this one juxtaposing Easter Sunday with April Fool’s Day, I am reminded of the Psalmist’s proclamation: “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” (Psalm 14:1) Then, to emphasize the point, he repeats himself in Psalm 53 –“The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (verse 1)
In other words, the Resurrection of Jesus is God’s answer to the fool who mocks God’s existence, and who disdains the idea that God loves him, even as he mocks.
Christian, and you who are not-yet-a-Christian: It is no accident that you have read this far. Neither is it a coincidence that Lent and Easter fall this year on the days they fall.
Listen for His voice. God is still calling you to a deeper relationship with Himself through His son, Jesus.