Today, Wednesday, is the beginning of Lent. Lent is the season when Christians prepare for Easter, often by abstaining from activities that might distract them from deeper prayer and devotion. Lent has sometimes been a time to fast from certain food, choosing instead more basic food.
It’s for this reason that in some countries the day before the beginning of Lent is called Shrove Tuesday. The word “Shrove” comes from an old English word that means to “absolve” or to confess sin.
In centuries past, Shrove Tuesday was when people had a large meal, eating all remaining sweet food so that they were ready to fast during Lent. Therefore, Shrove Tuesday became a day of carnival, when people enjoyed food they would not eat during Lent. No wonder in some parts of the world Shrove Tuesday is called Mardi Gras, which literally means “Fat Tuesday”.
In Great Britain, the tradition on Shrove Tuesday is to cook pancakes. The pancakes symbolized everything you’d not eat during Lent. They are like crêpes, thin and sweet, made of eggs, milk, flour, and sugar. Even to this day, Shove Tuesday is called “Pancake Day”. (In fact, when I was in elementary school we had “pancake races” on Shrove Tuesday, when we had to run about 20 meters tossing a pancake in a pan.)
These customs can seem strange. And today, sadly, they’ve often lost their roots in Christian history, practice, and tradition. But as Lent begins, they still remind us that our discipleship is meant to be deliberate and intentional – we put our desires and all that might distract behind us and we choose to put Jesus first. Following Jesus is seen by how we live day by day.
Romans 12:1 says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”
Today, we officially enter the season of Lent. We leave Shrove Tuesday behind. We come to the Lord who has redeemed us and say to him, “Here I am, show me where there is more work for you to do in me, help me let your Holy Spirit work in me, and deepen my love for my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”
在英國，懺悔星期二的傳統是做煎餅。薄煎餅象徵著你在大齋期間不能吃的一切。它們就像可麗餅，薄而甜，由雞蛋、牛奶、麵粉和糖製成。直到今天，Shrove Tuesday 仍被稱為“Pancake Day”。(事實上，在我上小學的時候，我們曾在懺悔星期二舉行过“煎餅比賽”，當時我們不得不跑大約 20 米远，把煎餅扔進鍋裡 ) 。
今天，我們正式進入大齋期。我們把懺悔星期二拋在腦後。我們來到救贖我們的 主面前，對祂說：“我在這裡，讓我看看你在我裡面還有什麼工要做，幫助我，讓你的聖靈在我裡面做工，加深我對我 主的和救 主耶穌基督的愛。”
Grace and peace