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I’d give anything for a pancake

Pancakes with strawberry syrup and blackcurrants
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Had an interesting experience in devotions today. We had an Ash Wednesday service. The minister who was leading devotions was certain that Ash Wednesday was today. It isn’t. He went round afterwards to let everyone know that he’d made a mistake and Ash Wednesday is actually a month away.

But it was interesting anyway, because I was able to start thinking about Lent. Lent is the time before Easter when you fast – you give up something. The idea is whenever you would normally have that thing, you think about God instead. In recent years, there has been a push from many people to say that Lent isn’t just about giving things up, but you can also take up something – for example, a bible study, or a spiritual discipline such as daily meditation, or a personal daily devotion.

Last year, I gave up coffee. It was tough (Liesl didn’t think that I could do it), but I managed to get through it, and that first coffee on Easter Sunday was just beautiful. This year, however, I’m thinking I’ll take up something instead. I’m thinking that I’ll try to get through as much of the bible as I can. This has been a goal of mine for a while, but I often get derailed. I’m not certain where I’m up to, but I know that there’s a bookmark in my bible of where I was. I think that for the 40 days of Lent, I’ll try to put an hour or two each day into reading my bible. Hopefully I’ll get through the Old testament, and make some headway into the new testament. I’ve heard it takes 72 hours to speak the bible. 2 hours a day for 40 days, I could most certainly finish it.

One of the great things about Lent is the way it starts. March 8 is Shrove Tuesday, which is colloquially known as Pancake Tuesday. It’s on Shrove Tuesday that you would get rid of everything that you were fasting of – which traditionally is Flour and Eggs. Best way to get rid of Flour and Eggs? Make Pancakes!

I remember heading to a party at my friends a few years ago where he’d made a Pancake Cake – chocolate pancakes, layered with alcoholic sauce (such as Kahlua, Bailey’s and other tasty liqueurs). It was so rich, most people could only have the tiniest of slices. But it was such a fun way to spend Shrove Tuesday.

The Uniting Church have caught onto this idea, and run Pancake Day as a fundraising event. They encourage churches, businesses, schools and individuals to hold a pancake day event where people can buy pancakes, with money raised heading to support local programs supported by Uniting Church organisations. It doesn’t matter where you are – you can have a Pancake Day event. Take a look at this video to see how the money raised is used:

So give a toss this Pancake Day and raise some money for awesome projects. And use this time before Lent to think about your Lenten Fast.

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