God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength. -! Corinthians 1:25
When I read this verse this time, a question popped into my mind. Is God ever foolish? Is God ever weak? I mean, Paul says that even in foolishness, God is wiser than human wisdom, and even in weakness, God is stronger than human strength. So does that mean that God has a foolish side? Or a weak side? I learned in Sunday School that God is infinitely wise and strong. I learned that God is perfect and sinless and, well, omnipotent and powerful. So Paul's words made me pause as I considered whether God can ever be foolish. Or weak.
And then I thought about those passages in which Jesus is being rude to his mom or to the Syrophoenician woman. I thought about how he lost his patience with his disciples sometimes and once full-out lost his temper in the temple. I thought about how in our faith, God was incarnated as a tiny, helpless baby - fully human - someone who in his short life would experience exactly what it is like to succumb to the powers and principalities of this hurtful world - someone who was derided as foolish by those in charge. God in Christ knows very well what it is like to be foolish and what it is to be weak.
In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul is explaining that to those who are perishing, the cross is foolishness. A stumbling block. A folly. Paul calls those who do not see anything much bigger than their own needs and wants in this life 'those who are perishing.' But to those who are called into something bigger than that - something beyond their own control, the holy week cycle embodies the power of God and the wisdom of God. What the world sees as weakness and foolishness in the Christian story is actually pointing to something that is much stronger than any worldly strength and wiser than any earthly wisdom. So I'm thinking God not only has a foolish side, but chooses to have it, so that God can get closer to us ordinary fools.
The good news I hear in all this is that God is with us in all times and in all places. Because of Jesus, God understands personally and intimately what it is like for us to be foolish or to be weak, and comes to be right there with us in it anyway. God becomes weak to meet us in our weakness. And God becomes foolish to meet us in our foolishness. And it is there - even there in foolishness and weakness - where God longs to share the most amazing and unexpected strength and wisdom with us.