By Dianne E. Butts:
Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday. This year in 2012, Shrove Tuesday is Feb. 21. Shrove Tuesday is the day that women in some locations clean out their kitchen pantries to get rid of all the foods that are not allowed for Lent, including pre-lenten meat as well as fats and oils. For some it’s a tradition to use up these tasty morsels by feasting—cooking up the meats and making the fats and oils into pancakes.
I first heard of Shrove Tuesday when I moved to a small town in Colorado and started attending a Presbyterian Church. I remember the strange telephone call I got:
“Hello, Dianne, I’m calling for the church to let you know you’ll be waitressing for our Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper.”
“Waitressing?” I asked. “For the what? There must be some mistake. I’m not a waitress.” I then learned everyone in the church was assigned a duty for the Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper that was served to the community annually. We were fairly new in town and those people didn’t know me very well. If they had, they never would have assigned me to be a waitress.
“What’s a Shrove?” I asked.
She hesitated. “It’s a supper, “she said. “We serve pancakes and sausage.”
“Oh, “I said. “Is shrove some kind of sausage?”
“No, “she said.
“Oh. Okay,” I said, confused. In January I had received another confusing invitation to the women’s group.
“We’d like you to come to Circle,” a woman told me.
“Oh,” I said smiling.
“We’re having our Sacrificial Meal,” she added.
“Oh,” I said and tried to continue smiling. Reminded me of that story about the cannibal who wanted to have the missionary for dinner. I knew I was the new kid on the block. But what had happened to the last new kid on the block? I declined the invitation.
Now it was February and I was trying desperately to talk my way out of being a waitress.
“No, we all have our assigned jobs”, she explained kindly, “and you’re assigned to be a waitress.”
I thought of the passage in Ephesians 4:11: “He…gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelist, and some to be…” Waitresses? Alas. It seemed my assignment had been set in stone.
“Fine, I’ll waitress,” I said. “But I’d rather be in the kitchen sizzling those shroves.”
Whether or not you observe the Lenten season that leads to Easter, as you prepare for Easter and the celebration of God’s gift to us in Jesus, you might consider what extra items are in your heart that you may want to clean out. If you do that, you might be finding God in Shrove Tuesday.
What is Shrove Tuesday? video:
©Dianne E. Butts. Dianne is a regular contributor to Finding God Daily and is a prolific story and article writer. You can find out more about her at www.dianneebutts.com.