Pancake vs Shrove Tuesday

It is Shrove Tuesday? Or Pancake Tuesday?

Let me answer that question with another. Is Christmas about the birth of Christ, or about Santa?

Of course, it’s about the birth of Christ. But the headliner tends to get sidelined in an increasingly secular culture.

Now, before I sound ornery, it’s not like Shrove Tuesday is a big day on the calendar. It’s not. Nor is it mentioned in the Bible, which is why I don’t give it much attention.

But I do think it’s an opportunity to think about the rhythms of our lives from a faith-based perspective.

Shrove Tuesday is the day before Lent begins (on Ash Wednesday). The name “Shrove Tuesday” comes from a practice in England to “shrive” on this day—meaning confessing our sins and seeking God’s forgiveness.

So how do pancakes fit in?

Since many people fast during Lent, there was (and is) a custom of using up fatty foods on this day to get them out of the house before Lent starts. Hence, let’s mow down on pancakes… or chocolate… or whatever.

Here are a few ideas to make the day meaningful.

First, confess your sin and brokenness to God, asking for his forgiveness through Christ.

Second, have a discussion with someone about what Shrove Tuesday means. After all, when we stop talking about what things mean, they start to mean nothing.

Today, I’ll probably have some pancakes—with some uber-yummy Canadian Maple Syrup.

But more importantly, I’ll go to God in prayer, and talk about the importance of being honest before him, happy that he has a forgiving heart toward his children.

“Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy” (Proverbs 28:13).


–My most recent podcast is a Bible study on the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37. You can listen to it here on an episode of The Pulse Podcast (or wherever you listen to podcasts like iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or TuneIn).

–Bible quotes are from the NIV.

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