"April Fools"

Mark's Midweek Musings ... April 1, 2021

It's April 1st already ... time flies. I was looking in the garden and saw that the tulip bulbs I planted in the fall are all coming up. Looking forward to seeing them in full bloom. What a glorious sign that spring is upon us.

This week is Holy Week. Despite the reality of being physically distanced due to Covid 19, there are still many engaging and inspiring opportunities for us to enter into meaningful worship during these days. I hope that you are able to enter the worship that is offered and that you find your faith reaffirmed as we go through these days of suffering and death that ultimately leads us to the hope of resurrection.

I will be taking my winter week off next week. Evelyn and the wardens will have the contact information for pastoral coverage should an emergency arise in my time away. There will be no Tues Connections, Tues zoom Compline, Midweek Musings, Conference Call Bible study or Online Hymn Sing next week. I will schedule an email to be sent out with the link for worship on Sunday April 11. As our celebration of Easter continues, we will be treated to an Easter Lessons and Carols service featuring music by Cantorei.

I wish you a blessed Holy Week and celebration of Easter.
I will be taking my winter week vacation
starting on Tuesday April 6
returning to the office
on Tuesday April 13

The wardens and Evelyn
will have contact information
for pastoral coverage
should any emergencies arise.
This week ...
  • Tues Connections email'
  • Community Stations of the Cross Video ... Tues
  • Mark's Midweek Musings ... Thurs
  • Conference Call Bible Study ... Thurs at 11 am 
  • Online Hymn Sing ... Thurs 
  • Maundy Thursday Online Worship Video
  • Good Friday Online Worship Video
  • On line worship links will be emailed on Saturday for Easter Sunday Worship Video
Next Week ... 
  • I am away on my winter week so there will be no Tuesday Connections, Zoom Compline, Midweek Musings, Conference Call Bible Study or online Hymn Sing
  • a link will be emailed for the worship on Sunday April 11, an Easter service of Lessons and Carols
This past Sunday in our parish cycle of prayer
we remembered and gave thanks for ...

Lori, Babs and Jan, Eileen and their families..
I have been asked to share
some scripture passages
that people can read over the week
and reflect in their own personal times
of prayer and bible reading.

These are the appointed lectionary readings
from the psalm and the gospel
for celebrations of the Eucharist
  • Tuesday ...  Tues in Holy Week ... Ps 71:1-14; Jn 12:20-36
  • Wednesday ... Wed in Holy Week ... Ps 70; Jn 13:21-32
  • Thursday ... Maundy Thursday ... Ps 116:1, 10-17; Jn 13:1-17, 31b-35
  • Friday ...  Good Friday ... Ps 22; Jn 18:1—19:42
  • Saturday ... Holy Saturday ... Ps 31:1-4, 15-16; Jn 19:38-42
  • Sunday ... Easter ... Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24; Mark 16:1-8
  • Monday ... Ps 16:1, 5-11; Mt 28:8-15
  • Tuesday ...  Ps 33:1-5, 18-22; Jn 20:11-18
  • Wednesday ... Ps 105:1-9; Lk 24:13-35
  • Thursday ... Ps 114; Lk 24:36b-48
  • Friday ...  Ps 116:1-8; Jn 21:1-14
  • Saturday ... Ps 118:1-4, 22-29; Mk 16:9-15
  • Sunday ... 2nd Sun of Easter ... Ps 133; Jn 20:19-31
  • Monday ... Ps 2; Jn 3:1-8

Thurs Apr 1 ... Mark's Midweek Musings
Thurs Apr 1 ... 11 am; Conference Call Bible Study
Thurs Apr 1 ... Online Hymn Sing
Thurs Apr 1 ... Online Maundy Thursday Worship Video
Fri Apr 2 ... Online Good Friday Worship Video
Sun Apr 4 ... Online Easter Worship Video
Tues Apr 6 to Tues Apr 13 ... Mark will be taking his winter week off
NOTE ... no Tues Connections, Zoom Compline, Mid week Musings, Conference Call Bible Study or Online Hymn Sing this week
Sun Apr 11 ... 2nd Sunday of Easter ... an email will be sent with a link to the Online Easter Lessons and Carols Service Video
Tues Apr 13 ... 7:30 pm; Zoom Prayer Group
Wed Apr 14 ... 11:15 am; Zoom Coffee & Chat
Thurs Apr 15 ... Mark's Midweek Musings
Thurs Apr 15... 11 am; Conference Call Bible Study
Thurs Apr 15 ... Online Hymn Sing 
Sun Apr 18 ... 3rd Sunday of Easter... an email will be sent with a link to the worship video
Mon Apr 19 ... 7:30 pm; Zoom Choir Practice
Tues Apr 20 ... Tuesday Connections
Tues Apr 20 ... 7:30 pm; Zoom Compline
Thurs Apr 22 ... Mark's Midweek Musings
Thurs Apr 22 ... 11 am; Conference Call Bible Study
Thurs Apr 22 ... Online Hymn Sing
Sun Apr 25 ... 4th Sunday of Easter... an email will be sent with a link to the worship video
Mon Apr 26 ... 7:30 pm; Zoom Choir practice
Tues Apr 27 ... Tuesday Connections
Tues Apr 27 ... 7:30 pm; Zoom Prayer Group
Wed Apr 28 ... 11:15 am; Zoom Coffee & Chat 
Thurs Apr 29 ... Mark's Midweek Musings
Thurs Apr 29 ... 11 am; Conference Call Bible Study
Thurs Apr 29 ... Online Hymn Sing 
Thurs Apr 29 ... Zoom "holy spirits"

Sunday March 28, 2021 ... Palm Sunday
An online video worship service will be offered as we mark the beginning of Holy Week. Included will be prayers, readings from scripture, a reflection and beautiful music provided by our virtual choir.

Tuesday March 30 ... Tuesday in Holy Week
An online video Stations of the Cross will be offered acknowledging where Jesus continues to be crucified in our own time in our community of Uxbridge. We will join with Trinity United and St. Andrew's Chalmers Presbyterian to reflect on suffering and injustice right here in our own neighborhood.

Thursday April 1 ... Maundy Thursday
An online video worship service will be offered as we enter into all that Jesus experienced on the night before his crucifixtion. We will reflect on the significance of the Last Supper, our call to servanthood ministry following Jesus' example and go with him to Gethsemane. Included in the liturgy will be the solemn stripping of the altar in preparation for Good Friday.

Friday April 2 ... Good Friday
An online worship service will be offered inviting us to enter into the solemnity of Jesus passion and death on the cross. The service will include prayers, a reading of the passion, a reflection and music that invites us to ponder the meaning and significance of this day.

Sunday April  4 ... Easter
An online worship service will be offered as we celebrate the gift of Jesus' resurrection, the tomb that is empty and a Lord who is very much alive. The service will include festive music by our virtual choir, prayers, readings, a reflection and sharing virtually in a meal of remembrance.

Sunday April 11 ... Second Sunday of Easter
An online Easter Lessons and Carols service will be offered including festive music, thanks to Cantorei. We will hear the story through scripture readings, choral pieces and hymns we can join in singing together.

An option to make your St. Paul's donations
which is easy and convenient

we have online banking available for e-transfers.

If this is helpful as you support the ministries of St. Paul's
the email address you need is

Please use the security question
"What town is the church located in?"
If you or someone you know
is in need of pastoral support
during this time

please leave a message
at the church office or email me.

Trust me when I say
it is no bother!!

This is what I'm here to do!!
"April Fools"

Today is a day when people often play pranks and jokes, at least until noon. I remember my favorite April Fools joke was the year we were taking the children to Disney in Florida; it was also the time of SARS. I woke them up on April 1, a day or two before we  were leaving, and said matter of factly, "Unfortunately we can't go to Disney, Mickey Mouse has SARS". Well needless to say, I didn't let it play out very long before telling them, "April Fools". Now to be fair, over the years they have taken their fair share of pranks at my expense. But of course it's all in fun.

What about entering into a spiritual reflection on this April Fools Day? The passage of scripture that comes to mind immediately is
1 Corinthians 1: 18-21 ... "For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe."

There's no doubt that for the world around us, and many in our society, the gospel message of Jesus Christ and the promise of the cross is sheer foolishness ... or as another translation puts, silliness. And it's understandable one a purely rational, intellectual level. The cross and Jesus death on the cross, by the world's standards, can't be anything but foolishness. How can death lead to new life? How can one who is crucified be the Messiah? How can His death on the cross lead to the salvation of the world?

I have been surprised that there have been individuals who have left negative and derogatory comments on our Facebook posts. This has happened recently with posts about our Holy Week on line services and the community stations of the cross. I admit that I'm not offended anymore by their comments. However it's sad that there are those in our world who can't entertain the possibility of the truth of the gospel and the hope available through faith in Jesus Christ. 

As Paul says to the Corinthians is anything but foolishness when we take to heart and trust in the power of God to save us, and to do so through Jesus and His death on the cross. Through the story we enter into tomorrow and Sunday, the cross of Good Friday and the empty tomb of Easter, God indeed makes fooolish the wisdom of the world. 

Again Paul said to the Corinthians, "We are fools for the sake of Christ, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute." Through our faith, hope and trust in all God promises us, and the promises we make in our baptisms, we indeed are fools for the sake of Jesus Christ. And yet, we are wise because we are followers of Jesus and integral parts of the body of Christ.

Try as we might, we will never understand it with our finite human minds; and I'm not so sure we're supposed to either. We believe and we trust in the power of God and the gift of God's Spirit not because we can explain it, but rather because we have experienced if firsthand for ourselves. We have seen the glory of God; we have experienced the healing of God; we have witnessed the awesomeness of God. 

Over these next few days, I encourage us not to try and intellectualize the gospel message we hear in the story of Jesus' passion, death and resurrection. Rather, I invite us to experience it in all of its fullness and receive the gift of a renewed hope in knowing and believing we are loved by God and through Jesus we receive grace and blessing in our lives from God.

The gospel, the gift of Jesus, the cross of Good Friday and the empty tomb of Easter ... they may be foolishness to the world. But for us, even on this April Fools Day, we remember that the good news isn't a joke ... rather it' s a promise God makes and a promise God keeps. So, let's never be fooled into believing otherwise!!
The prayer for this April Fools Day ...

O God, we trust and give thanks
that in Your wisdom,
you give us the gift of faith
even in what seems at times
to feel and sound like foolishness
especially given the world we live in.

We don't need dazzling displays of strength
or exercises of intellectual prowess,
or marvelous manifestations of miracles.

We come simply to You in prayer.
Touch us this day, O Lord, 
that we might be faithful in our discipleship;
that we as Your church may be
built not upon our own abilities, knowledge, or skill,
but upon You and Your wisdom,
in Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
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St. Paul's Anglican Church, Uxbridge · 59 Toronto Street · Uxbridge, On L9P1H1 · Canada

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