There is more to pancake day than just pancakes!

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Pancakes   Pancakes 3   Pancakes 2

Pancakes are delicious and you can eat them with almost anything! My favoutite way is the traditonal way, with lemon juice and sugar. Pancakes are lovely with fruit, jam or honey. Savoury pancakes with meat or creamy mushroom sauce are really appetising. But Pancake day(also called Shrove Tuesday) has a tradition dating back to the early Christian religion. Shrove Tuesday is the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, which is the first day of the Season of Lent. Shrove in Middle English is shriven, which means confession. In the early days of the Christian religion, Christians went to confession during the season of Lent, only. Shrove Tuesday was a day of celebration with much food and drink because beginning on Ash Wednesday people would fast for forty days as sign of repentance for their sins. In French-speaking nations Shrove Tuesday is called Mardi Gras, which roughly means Tuesday of Fat! In the United Kingdom it is the day we enjoy cooking, tossing and eating pancakes! In some places they have pancake races!  Shrove Tuesday is a day when we have a feast of pancakes. It is because during Lent, many Christians perform fasting or abstinence from sweet things.

We can celebrate Shrove Tuesday by enjoying our pancakes and thanking God for His provision of food for the year since last pancake day! Not everyone is so fortunate. There are many people starving in the world. We live in a fallen world and this is not the way God wants things to be. He created a perfect world in the beginning. One day(no-one knows when it will be), Jesus will return to earth for the second time and God’s Kingdom will be restored.

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This year 2014

Shrove Tuesday is on 4th March

Ash Wednesday is on 5th March. This is the beginning of Lent.

Holy Week is the week beforeEaster, commemorating events in the last days of Jesus’ life on Earth.

Palm Sunday is on 13th April 2014. It is the sixth and last Sunday of Lent and the beginning of Holy Week.  It is the day Jesus arrived in Jerusalem.

Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday) is on 17th April. This is the day when we remember The Last Supper, the agony in the Garden of Gethsemane and the betrayal by Judas.

Good Friday (Holy Friday) is on 18th April 2014. This is when we remember the arrest, trial, crucifixion, death and burial of Jesus Christ.

Holy Saturday is on 19th April 2014. This is the Sabbath on which Jesus rested in the grave.

Easter Sunday is on 20th Aprin 2014. This is when we celebrate the miracle of Jesus rising from the dead.

The word ‘Lent’ appears to have its beginnings in Anglo-Saxon, where the word means to lengthen, indicating that days are getting longer and spring is coming. Lent is thought to last for 40 days, although it is actually 46, as the Sundays are not counted.

‘Lenting’ means sticking to fasting during Lent. The word ‘Carnival’ is derived from a Latin phrase meaning ‘no meat;’, and originally was connected with the three days of feasting and celebration before Ash Wednesday.

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 Ash Wednesday is a day when early Christians would wrap themselves in sack cloth and spend the next forty days in acts of mortification and penance. The left over palms from Palm Sunday, the previous year are burned to ashes. The ashes are blessed in preparation for marking the foreheads of the people as sign of their admission of sin, and the need for repentance. This practice of placing ashes on the forehead of the people began in the Middle Ages and replaced the wearing of sack cloth.

Ash Wednesday, the day after Shrove Tuesday, is when we get Blessed ashes on the forehead as a sign that we love Jesus and are repentant of sins. For forty days after Ash Wednesday, Christians abstain from something or do something extra good. It is in preparation for Easter, and it is also in remembrance of the time when the Lord spent forty days fasting in the desert.

Jesus in the desert  Matthew 4:1-11  Jesus Is Tested in the Wilderness

1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.

3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple.

6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”

7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendour.

9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”

11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

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The church often uses colours for seasons. The colour for Lent is purple, which means both sorrow (because we do wrong), and royalty.

Some churches decorate their church with grey banners and cloths for the whole season of Lent as a reminder of the grey ashes of Ash Wednesday.

In the Middle Ages many Christians had the Ash Wednesday ashes sprinkled on their heads, and some wore rough sackcloth clothes to show they were sorry for what they had done wrong.

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Maundy Thursday is the day before Good Friday. This is when we remember The Last Supper, the agony in the Garden of Gethsemane and the betrayal by Judas.

In the past the King or Queen would wash the feet of poor people on Maundy Thursday to remind them of Jesus washing the feet of his friends, the disciples on the night of the last supper. Nowadays in the United Kingdom Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 2 gives out Maundy money, in a symbolic ceremony, in the one of our cathedrals, to a group of pensioners. It is a tradition that the number of pensioners and the amount of coins matches the age of the sovereign.

Britain Maundy Thursday 1972    Britain Queen Maundy Thursday    Maundy Money 2    Maundy Money

Jesus washing disciples feet John 13:1-17  Jesus washes the disciples feet.

1 Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.

2 And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him;

3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;

4 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.

5 After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.

6 Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?

7 Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.

8 Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.

9 Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.

10 Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.

11 For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.

12 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?

13 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.

14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.

15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.

16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.

17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.

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How do we wash one another’s feet? We as Christians should be forgiving and compassionate towards others. This is what Jesus requires of us, that we should treat other people as we would wish to be treated.

The Two Great Commandments of Jesus.  Matthew chapter 22 verses 34-40

34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together.

35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’

38 This is the first and greatest commandment.

39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’

40 All the Law* and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.

(* The Ten Commandments  Exodus chapter 20)

When we fully obey these two commandments of Jesus, we will find that we are in fact, obeying the Ten Commandments.

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My next post about Easter includes the Bible story of The Last Supper, the agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, the betrayal, trial, crucifixion of Jesus and on the third day the empty tomb and Jesus is alive!

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I recommend that you watch The Revelation TV Channel on Sky channel number 581 or Freesat channel 692 and The Roku Box In the USA. You can also watch programmes on their website  http://www.revelationtv.com  They are a Christian channel. They have live, interactive programmes, which are wonderful for people who are lonely,  and many programmes that help people learn about the love of God and how to live the Christian life. The presenters and guests make you feel that you are part of the Church family. They have really helpful programmes to help people grow in their Christian life. Their programmes also help you if you are not sure about your faith and want to understand more. They have live interactive programmes too. These are really good if you are lonely, afraid or worried. We all go through times when we need spiritual help. They also have programmes where you can send your prayer requests.

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If you feel you need God in your life and you don’t know how to find Him and you feel alone, lost, guilty and frightened, I recommend the website from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association www.PeaceWithGod.net

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