Today is Shrove Tuesday . . .or Fat Tuesday . . .or a day of partying for Mardi Gras. What is Shrove Tuesday? Shrove is the past tense of the word "shrive," which means to hear a confession, assign penance, and absolve from sin. Shrove Tuesday is a reminder that we are entering a season of penance. I know this is weird but I love Lent. I love that we take the time to realize that we are indeed sinners (heck - we don't even use that word very much anymore). Our friends, Lynn and Brian, know all about the Russian Orthodox church. They have shared with us that Shrove Tuesday is also a night where you use up all the sugar and butter and eggs in your house (hence - pancakes!) before Ash Wednesday. I love how Brian told us that on Easter Sunday, families would bring large baskets (Easter baskets!!) to church filled with all the things they had given up for Lent - like eggs!! So tonight we will be eating pancakes.
Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday - the beginning of Lent. I think I will "take on" something, rather than give up something. I just sent a list of names and addresses to one of our young adults. This is her third year to write a card to a different homebound member or a member who lives in a nursing home . . .every single day of Lent. Isn't that a great idea? Don't you know they love getting mail from a young adult??? I say that I'm going to take on something - Brian, my boss . . .or one of them, I should say!, would ask me if I plan to take on something in my extra 20 minutes each day :-) I want to be more intentional about my prayer life and time with God each morning. I've been slacking in that area and I can feel the difference. I actually got on my knees on Saturday when I was working on my Sunday School lesson and said, "God, if I were you, I wouldn't want to help me . . . since I haven't bothered to hang out with you any . . .but if you could be so kind, please help me with this Sunday School lesson." Tomorrow night, I will help with communion. We will also give out clutch crosses that we have made (I need to blog about that this week!!).
On Sunday, we will begin our Lenten series - Soul Keeping. We will be using the book by John Ortberg. I'm looking forward to facilitating in the John Wesley class and also on Tuesday nights.