Yesterday was one of those days whose contemporary follies have overwhelmed a profound history. The first day of April is called April Fool’s Day, and this day is often filled with jokes and tomfoolery. Even WordPress, the site that hosts this blogs, participated in the joke by artificially exploding the views on blogs by an order of magnitude on the dashboard views of its bloggers. Nonetheless, what does this day truly refer to, and why is it a good thing to be an April fool?
When the Gregorian Calendar was adopted throughout Western Europe in the 1500’s (though some areas, like England and Russia held out for much longer in using the older, and less accurate heathen Julian calendar), not all people were in a hurry to adopt the new calendar. One of the changes of this new calendar was to move the start of the new year from the around time of the spring harvest (from Late March to early April) to the dead of winter. Worse yet, those who refused to change their own habits were considered ‘April fools,’ treated cruelly with pranks and ridicule, and sent on ‘fool’s errands’ to nonexistent parties for the amusement of the ignorant and heathen masses .
As someone who is deeply interested in the implications of the calendar , I find both the arbitrary change of the New Year’s from its proper position at the time of the Spring Harvest as well as the malicious treatment of people by the commonfolk to be deeply problematic. For one, the April Fools, even if motivated by tradition rather than knowledge, were correct to hold to the beginning of the year in the time of the Spring Harvest. That is, after all, the beginning of the year (except the Jubilee year) according to the Word of God.
After all, it was a divine commandment not to bother or molest anyone about keeping the biblical markers of time, whether the Sabbath (the weekly mark of time), the New Moon (the monthly mark of time), or the festivals (the annual marks of time), as Paul stated in Colossians 2:16. Also, Daniel 7:25a speaks of the fourth beast (Rome) in the following way: “He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change dates and law.” The move from Sabbath to “Sunday,” from Passover to Easter, and from the biblical new year at the time of the Spring Harvest to the dead of winter were all motivated by this wicked spirit of desiring to change God’s law and dates.
Therefore, those who, for whatever reason, resisted the pull of the mob and held to the correct beginning of the year during springtime are to be praised and commended. Indeed, let us follow in their example and resist heathen traditions ourselves. It is better to be a fool in the eyes of man than in the eyes of God, for indeed the foolishness of God is wiser by far than man is . Let us therefore be wise in the eyes of God, the only opinion that ultimately matters, regardless of whether the world may call us April fools.