Shrove Tuesday & Our Shadowy Side
I went to church tonight and ate way too many pancakes. Of course I did.
I am struck by how little pancakes on Shrove Tuesday really means to us. It has become this thing we do on the day before Lent. A night of fellowship? Sure. A reason not to cook dinner one night this week? Great. Pancakes? Why, yes!
I have a friend who once told me that the reason he loves Shrove Tuesday so much is that it is a feast built into the liturgical calendar where we acknowledge and confess our shadowy sides. We indulge ourselves to the point of fullness (or for me, after a plate of pancakes – sickness). It’s almost like a “get it out of your system” gesture as we enter this sparse season of Lent. It’s like a mini tantrum or an extra spurt of energy we need to run off before we get to the business of Lent. On Shrove Tuesday, we live into the part of ourselves that IS overindulgent, rebellious, and in need of a good acting out.
God of infinite mercy,
grant that we who know your compassion
may rejoice in your forgiveness
and gladly forgive others
for the sake of Jesus Christ our Saviour
who is alive with with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God now and for ever.