Today is pancake day, lovely fantastically delicious pancake day. It is shrove tuesday, it is the day before the start of lent, it is the start of an important season for christians.
As a family we always make pancakes on shrove tuesday; it's something which we would never miss. We also talk about what we might give up for Lent. Even Mike tries to give something up. So this morning Rachel and I were talking about what we would give up for lent.
Something we know we can actually manage (not chocolate),
something that means something (not cabbage),
something that would help us think about Jesus when we want to eat it.
And Rachel chose biscuits; not the easier option of crisps, but biscuits.
She even said "that will be hard at church but church is where Jesus definitely is so I think I will be OK."
I am going to join her, I have less faith that I'll be able to manage it, but I will try my absolute hardest and take my inspiration from the hope and faith of a child.
For those who'd like to know a little more about lent here is a great explanation from the BBC Religions Pages.
Lent is the period of 40 days which comes before Easter in the Christian calendar. Beginning on Ash Wednesday, Lent is a season of reflection and preparation before the celebrations of Easter. By observing the 40 days of Lent, Christians replicate Jesus Christ's sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days. Lent is marked by fasting, both from food and festivities.
Why 40 days?
40 is a significant number in Jewish-Christian scripture:
•In Genesis, the flood which destroyed the earth was brought about by 40 days and nights of rain.
•The Hebrews spent 40 years in the wilderness before reaching the land promised to them by God.
•Moses fasted for 40 days before receiving the ten commandments on Mount Sinai.
•Jesus spent 40 days fasting in the wilderness in preparation for his ministry.
Most Christians regard Jesus' time in the wilderness as the key event for the duration of Lent.