I love pancakes. Pancakes with sugar and lemon, pancakes with blueberries, pancakes with bacon & maple syrup, even pancakes with cheese. Oh I do so love pancakes. So this week is a dream come true. First there will be pancakes at our 4pm service on Sunday 10th - aptly titled 'Pancakes and Praise'. And then, of course, there will be more at home on Shrove Tuesday (12th Feb) - that's Pancake Day itself.
I'm sure you know the origins of Shrove Tuesday. Traditionally it's the day when the kitchen is cleared of rich ingredients like eggs, milk, and sugar ready for the fasting of Lent, which starts the day after - Ash Wednesday (13th Feb). So after feasting on pancakes on Tuesday, I'll be looking to forgo a few things as Lent unfolds. My waistline could probably bear it!
And what will Lent hold for me? Well, on Ash Wednesday I'll be 'ashed' as I remember my shortcomings before God, and my utter dependence on God's grace. Then over the weeks that follow I'll be foregoing chocolate and beer, and attending our 5 week Lent study course - all of it building towards Holy Week and Easter.
It's an important time in the life of the church ... and in the life of the individual Christian, if they take it seriously. It can be transforming for some people, as they reflect on themselves and on God. So I wish you a reflective and spiritually fruitful Lent in the weeks ahead. First though ... pancakes!