Today is known on the church calendar as Shrove Tuesday. The word shrove actually comes from the word shrive which means to ‘confess’. In our Lutheran heritage, Shrove Tuesday is a day of reflection of our past year and an opportunity for self-examination. There is another name for today which might be a little more familiar to everyone. It is the term Mardi Gras which is French for Fat Tuesday. It is the day in which people indulge in order to prepare for the Lent season. Unfortunately it has become quite abused.
Tomorrow will be the start of Lent. Tomorrow is known as Ash Wednesday. It is the day in our Lutheran heritage, along with other denominations, that we set aside to show true repentance for the willful transgressions we have committed. I personally love the fact that we can go to God any day or any time and confess our sins to Him. There is such freedom living for God. With that being said, tomorrow (Ash Wednesday) has become a true day of recounting how much God has blessed and guided my life over the past year. Ash Wednesday is more like the beginning of a new year to me. It is a time to Pause. It is a time to Pray. It is a time to Plan. It is a time to evaluate how I will proceed in the next year to grow in my journey of being a follower of Jesus Christ.
I would encourage you today to take a look at your journey with your Heavenly Father. Take a look at your past year. What in your life do you need to shrive? Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you. Ask the Holy Spirit to inspire you. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you. Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday and Lent are not found in the Bible. They are not a command from our Lord. They are observances that have come from our Lutheran heritage that I personally find engaging and enhancing to my personally journey. I do not have to do them, but I do feel the Holy Spirit uses these observances to draw me even closer to all that God desires me to be.
So whether you participate in Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday or Lent or not – I invite you to find time this week to include more of the God who loves you so deeply into your daily journey.
Blessings. Peace. Prayer.
Pastoral Team Leader – Celebration