Psalms: 26, 28
Old Testament: Deut 6:16-25
New Testament: Hebrews 2:1-10

While not an official feast-day in the liturgical calendar, Shrove Tuesday (aka Pancake Tuesday, Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday) is BY FAR one of the best celebrations of the Church.

I ❤ breakfast food…….a LOT! So anytime it can be had twice on the same day I am SO in! 😀

Shrove Tuesday is the last chance to party and celebrate before the Great Lent begins tomorrow–on Ash Wednesday. The 40 days of Lent were/are traditionally observed as a fasting period, and Mardi Gras served as a way to get rid of all the fat and sugar in one's household.

A traditional fast is still maintained by the Eastern Orthodox churches, with the eating of meat and dairy products highly discouraged.

In the West, fasting from food or drink has fallen by the wayside; but many have held on to a tradition of "giving something up" for Lent…or conversely taking something on in order to enhance their spiritual growth.

Today's Scripture for the Daily Office is particularly appropriate as we head into the six weeks leading up to Easter. When children ask "What is the meaning of the Law and statutes of God???", the Jewish people are not told to give a strictly intellectual response. Rather, they are to remember God's saving acts and to tell these stories with joy from one generation to another:

We were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt, but the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. The LORD displayed before our eyes great and awesome signs and wonders against Egypt, against Pharaoh and all his household. He brought us out from there in order to bring us in, to give us the land that he promised on oath to our ancestors. Then the LORD commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our lasting good, so as to keep us alive, as is now the case. If we diligently observe this entire commandment before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us, we will be in the right. (Deut 6:22-25)

The instruction here is not to give a straightforward answer……but rather to point to the traditions and stories of our faith; to contemplate them and turn them over in our minds….looking at things with a new perspective. Remembering the WHY of what we do….as opposed to just doing it out of habit.

In the next forty days, we are called to remember the story of Jesus’ temptation, his trek to Jerusalem, his betrayal, torture, death, and–finally–rising victorious from the grave.

May we not seek to give straightforward answers…but rather point to the stories of Jesus, and let those narratives guide the way through the wilderness….inviting others to join us along the way +

P.S. EP will be posted a little later than usual since the pancake supper at my parish goes ’till 7pm 🙂