Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Shrove... What ???

On this Shrove Tuesday, the eve of Ash Wednesday, I share with you my meditations as I prepare for Lent and that sweet time to fully embrace Easter morning.

 It is nice that my grandson is a minister.
        He is young.
                I am old.
                      I taught him about life things and things of the Lord.
                               He teaches me scholarly things and things of the Spirit.

         Last week, said young man posted new [ to me ] information on Face Book about Shrove Tuesday. Intriguing.  Oh yes, I “knew” the word, but not the meaning. I spent considerable time on the website he listed http://whatsinthebible.com/shrove-tuesday/  For a couple of nights, I prayed myself to sleep with things of praise, confession, forgiveness, and celebration buzzing around my mind.

I believe it is good to ponder and remember and practice ancient things.
My interest and confusion grew. Which led me to http://mariannedorman.homestead.com/ShroveTuesday2.html 

There I learned new [to me] things about old practices. I read:

“Shrove Tuesday is the day of preparation for Lent, that is, the day before Ash Wednesday. The name shrove is derived from the word “shrive.” It is therefore the day when the faithful confess their sins in preparation for the holy fast of Lent. The meaning of this day was explained in the Anglo-Saxon Ecclesiastical Institutes translated from Theodulphus by Abbot Aelfric c.1000 A.D who declared that the week immediately before Lent ‘everyone shall go to his confessor and confess his deeds and the confessor shall so shrive him as he then may hear by his deeds what he is to do [in the way of penance].’ So shrovetide is primarily religious, and the same is true of the German Fastnacht (the eve of the fast). “

I find no biblical mandate requiring Christians to observe Shrove Tuesday, but the history of the Christian church is rich with ancient and enduring concepts that are integral parts of today’s worship practices, in both liturgical and no-liturgical churches as believers bow down and/or raise hands in worship before the One Triune God.

Such as: Praise:
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning is now, and will be forever. Amen. 

Such as: Confession:
Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Proverbs 28:13

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.    James 5:16

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

Such as: Celebration
Rejoice with me, I have found my lost sheep. Luke 15:11

This is the day the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

Such as: Feasting
 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth quickly the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: and bring the fatted calf, and kill it, and let us eat, and make merry: for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. Luke 15:24

          No, our family does not dine on stacks of pancakes and bacon in order to use up the last of the sugars, eggs, fats, and dairy that were traditionally prohibited during the fasting of lent. And, as I yearn to dwell in the House of my Lord, I wonder if the simple act of serving pancakes with bacon at supper might spark a conversation that will help us enter Lent in a more meaningful way.
          Truth be told, my particular family will not sup on pancakes. We don’t do wheat well. We control our sugar intake—as much as we love that larapin delicious, good ole Maple Syrup. Butter is consumed only in regulated amounts and bacon is almost non-existent in our modern, senior citizen diet.
          However, tonight as we partake of a healthy salad we will celebrate God’s remarkable love; we will remember His Grace, practice cleansing, offer confession, and accept forgiveness.

Tonight, I will end my day contemplating things I can do or change or not do in order to offer thanks and praise to my Lord Jesus Christ during the precious days of Lent.

I pray that your Shrove Tuesday blessed you.
                                That His love surrounded you.
                                               That you found Grace and Mercy at the 
                           Throne of our Living God.