A day of revelry or a day of repentance.
You can listen to today’s devotion by clicking on this SoundCloud link.
Most people know today as Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras in French. The celebration features parades, masquerades and sadly, often drunkenness and depravity. Mardi Gras revelers often engage in the excesses of worldly celebration, not knowing the loving sacrifice of Christ revealed during Lent.
Today is also known as Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. “Shrove” comes from the word shrive, meaning absolve or to grant absolution to one who is repentant of their sins. It is a time of self-examination, a conviction of what needs to be repented, and asking God’s help for true change. This prepares us for the season of Lent.
In certain parts of the world, today is also Pancake Day. In some churches during Lent, refraining from foods such as meat, dairy products, or eggs is emphasized. Since eating excess rich foods such as butter, eggs and fat are discouraged, these ingredients are used on Shrove Tuesday to make and consume pancakes.
Today, Shrove Tuesday has all but disappeared, while the excesses of Mardi Gras continue to be in the spotlight. But seize this day as a reminder of your need for forgiveness and repentance. As you prepare to observe Lent, be joyful for the forgiveness you have in Christ your Savior. And share the meaning of today, tomorrow, Lent and Easter with those who are seeking happiness and meaning but finding none in the pleasures of this world.
“How happy he is whose wrong-doing is forgiven, and whose sin is covered! How happy is the man whose sin the Lord does not hold against him, and in whose spirit there is nothing false.
Many are the sorrows of the sinful. But loving-kindness will be all around the man who trusts in the Lord. Be glad in the Lord and be full of joy, you who are right with God! Sing for joy all you who are pure in heart!”
Psalm 32: 1, 2 and 10,11 New Life Version
Copyright text and photo Desiree Bustamante