Today is Shrove Tuesday, Mardis Gras, Carnivale, Pancake Day. According to Wikipedia, the word shrove is a form of the English word shrive, which means to obtain absolution for one’s sins by way of Confession and doing penance. Thus Shrove Tuesday was named after the custom of Christians to be “shriven” before the start of Lent. How about that?
So Shrove Tuesday was the last hurrah before the forty days of the fasting and repentance of Lent that began on Ash Wednesday.
In New Orleans and Rio and elsewhere, that last night before the start of Lent is one massive party. I imagine the start of the Ash Wednesday fast is facilitated by celebrants inability to ingest anything at all. And who doesn’t find a hangover motivation for repentance?
Back on track…
I travel in tamer circles these days; we eat pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. Back when, that was a way to use up all the eggs and sugar and butter in the larder. Why? Because they couldn’t be consumed during the Lenten Fast. These days, Shrove Tuesday provides an opportunity for fellowship and youth group Pancake Diner fundraisers in church basements everywhere.
So, I’ll eat pancakes for dinner tonight. But then Lent begins.
Not giving up chocolate or wine this Lent.
Nor am I participating in a Facebook fast.
I’ll eat fish, but only because I like it. I’ll eat meat, too and maybe some Girl Scout cookies.
I’m going in a different direction this time around.
Did you know the very first Earth Day was fifty years ago – in 1970? That’s enough of a nudge for me. This year for Lent, I’ll be focused on Creation Care – doing my little bit to be a better steward of this orb we all inhabit.
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John share in their gospels, over and over, the importance of Creation. Jesus used images from nature in his parables. He prayed on mountains and in the wilderness. Reference And Earth testified the resurrection of Jesus with sunrise and earthquakes. Caring for God’s creation is strongly connected to my faith and I’m looking forward to spending time in the Bible with this focus. I’ll be combining that with practical application of care for our Earth. I hope you’ll join me on this hourney.
I was fortunate to come across The Rev. Christyn Koschmann’s (of the Central States ELCA Synod) Carbon Fast Devotional. So she gets all the credit for the graphics and verses.
Note, Lent is 40 days, but you’ll see more posts in this Lenten practice of mine. Because of the Sundays. Did you know the 40 days doesn’t include Sundays?
Sincere thank you to The Rev. Christynn Koschmann who provided the graphics and a fantastic Carbon Fast Calendar. The other resource you may see evidence of is the Lenten Devotional For the Beauty of the Earth, which you can use any year you like.