Friday, January 30, 2009

Holy Fool

Today’s Reading: John 19:21-22 (NIV)

21 The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ‘THE KING OF THE JEWS’ but that this man claimed to be the king of the Jews.” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”

Good morning!

Last night during my Russian cross-cultural class, we talked about what it means to be a Holy Fool. The most famous of Russia’s holy fools was St. Basil the Blessed, after whom the cathedral in Red Square takes its name. Etched on an ancient icon in the sanctuary of this church, St. Basil is clothed only in his beard and a loin cloth! Basil was willing to confront Ivan the Terrible, knowing he would face a certain death. At the great feast, Basil offered the Tsar a slab of beef, telling him there was no reason for him not to eat it. Why would Ivan abstain from eating red meat when he drinks the blood of Christians every day in his murderous rampage?

What is a holy fool? They are described as Christian believers teetering off the edge of conventional, acceptable social behavior. Their devotion to following Christ is something many of us do not understand. They choose to follow the hard teachings of Jesus, taking His Word literally to the streets. What lengths would you be willing to go to convey the Gospel of Christ? Are you brave enough to step out of what is considered the socially acceptable norm if it meant your words and actions might lead another human heart to the foot of the cross?

Pilate didn’t realize the implication His words would have on all humanity as He prepared the signage to hang above Jesus’ head. Or did he?

Can you name someone who has thrown caution to the wind, simply to step out and share the Gospel with people they do not know? Maybe you are thinking of a particular pastor, priest, missionary, or even a family member. The life of evangelist Arthur Blessitt comes to my mind, especially when I think about the impact he has made in his forty year trek around the world carrying the cross of Christ upon his shoulder. Be sure to go to the theaters and see the movie, The Cross. It is slated for release in late March, 2009.

Fill us up to the brim with your Word, Lord Jesus. Help our lives overflow with your love, as we share your story around the world. Be present in our words, actions and most importantly, in our love. May we become Holy Fools for you today. Amen.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


© Copyright 2009, Deb Spaulding

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