Today is Shrove Tuesday. But what is it all about?
Lent is the time of spiritual preparation leading up to the main event in the Christian faith: Easter.
Shrove Tuesday is the day before Lent begins. The name comes from a practice in England to “shrive” on this day: seeking and receiving forgiveness from God for our sins.
The reason many people have a tradition of eating pancakes on Shrove Tuesday is because many people fast during Lent. Therefore, on the day before that starts people often use up their fatty foods and get them out of the house by eating them!
Some people call today “Pancake Tuesday” or “Fat Tuesday.” But I’m not a fan of this because (if you’re a follower of Jesus) it obscures the meaning of the day—kind of like how “Turkey Day” obscures the meaning of Thanksgiving.
Personally, I’m not someone who gets too worked up about specific days on a spiritual calendar. After all, every day is a day for discipleship and seeking God’s will and glory. And every Sunday is a mini Easter celebration.
But pausing intentionally to seek and receive forgiveness from God is definitely a good thing!
1 John 1:8-9 says, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
-How have you neglected Jesus?
-How have you disobeyed him?
-When have you done the easy thing instead of the godly thing?
-How have you neglected the people around you?
-How have you been apathetic or unloving to the plight of others?
In a society of “truth is relative” and “do what makes you happy,” these are not popular questions.
But we cannot have powerful intimacy with God if we keep lying to him and hiding from him.
Think of any other relationship in your life. The more deception there is, the more mistrust there is; but the less deception there is, the more trust there is.
Well, the same with God.
We cannot have powerful intimacy with God if we keep lying to him and hiding from him.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering—yes, I’m having pancakes for dinner. Why? Because pancakes and syrup be super-tasty!
By Matthew Ruttan
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.
3 thoughts on “Shrove Tuesday explained”
Hi Matthew. Thank you for sharing. This is very informative, and answers many questions about Shrove Tuesday.
Your name came up at the last Presbytery meeting at Elmvale when I was sitting in with the Christian Education and Leadership Development Team in which a chapter of your devotions was read out loud.
I am the lay preacher in Hillsdale (one of the churches in the Barrie Presbytery) and I could not pin where I have heard your name before. And it dawned on me later that I follow you on Twitter. I am currently in the middle of taking a Twitter break while I get some writing done however.
The chapter that was shared of your writings was reaching people where they are at. Our churches are definitely in decline, so we do reach them in places like social media.
What was shared in your writings was an encouragement to me. Just wanted to let you know that. And thank you also for this post on Shrove (or pancake) Tuesday! God bless! 🙂
Hi Carl, thanks for the note and I’m glad that you found the devotional helpful! I actually chair that committee at presbytery but wasn’t able to be there last month. I look forward to seeing you at the meeting in March!
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You are very welcome. That is tremendous you chair the committee. Hope to see you in Midland at the March meeting.