I’m not sure Paul had this in mind when he talked about being “fools for Christ”…
I am now half-way through my 90 hours of being dressed as an elephant in order to raise sponsorship money for Student Linkup- that’s the vital work Fusion do to find and connect thousands of Christian school leavers to new churches when they go to Uni, and prepare them for the brand new student world.
Dressing up in a full-blown elephant suit was one of those ideas that seemed funny at the time of suggestion, and turned out to be quite a mission six months later when I actually have to wake up every day and put on a big, fluffy “onesie” and go out in public. It is one of the most hilarious and bizarre experiences of my life, you can watch my little “Elephant Diaries” here.
There’s an amazing and challenging bit in 1 Corinthians 4 about “true apostleship”- what it really looks like to go all-out for Jesus. Paul says to the Corinthian church he’s writing to, ‘We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to human beings. We are fools for Christ,’ and although I cannot compare being dressed like Chris Martin from Coldplay’s ‘Paradise’ video to the persecution of the early church, it does make me ask the question: how far are we prepared to go for Jesus? You see, I have been laughed at everywhere I go, and not all nice laughter. I get hugged by kids a lot in this suit, but you always get the odd teenager who would rather throw something at you. And yet, me wearing this costume means people are donating money to support and transform the faith-journeys of thousands of teenagers. So it’s got to be worth it.
Paul goes on to say, ‘To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly. We have become the scum of the earth, the garbage of the world—right up to this moment.’
The early church apostles were prepared to be ripped to shreds by the world in order to share the Good News that would save the very people seeking to destroy them. This week as an elephant has meant I’ve learnt more about being a ‘fool for Christ’ and although I’m not claiming to be experiencing even a shadow of what Paul went through to help people meet Jesus, I do know that we can all make a difference by being up for sacrificing our comfort to see change. If you were to do a 90 challenge, what would you do?