So, Mardi Gras is happening right now, and if that doesn’t affect your life in any way, you are probably:
- a protestant
- or another brand of non-Roman Catholic
- who doesn’t live in New Orleans
- or Brazil
That, I’m assuming, would be most of my readership. Mardi Gras is a celebration of sin and debauchery that precedes the repentance and asceticism of Lent in the Roman Catholic liturgical calendar. And yes, the idea of having to sin abundantly for the purpose of repenting later is a violation of Romans 6:1,2. That’s why protestants don’t traditionally celebrate Mardi Gras, OR Lent. As Martin Luther said, all of life should be repentance. (That was for you Mitch.)
But there is a day in between these celebrations that I really like. The last day of Mardi Gras, which of course comes the day before the first day of Lent (Ash Wednesday), is Fat, or Shrove Tuesday. On that day people are supposed to use up all the “sinful” foods in the house to prepare for the “fasting” of Lent. Apparently pancakes are the most sinful food in the world, because pancakes have become a traditional Fat Tuesday meal – using up all the eggs, milk, fat (hence fat Tuesday), etc in one dish. And every Fat Tuesday, IHOP gives away FREE PANCAKES!
I like pancakes.
I like free.
So if you happen to see me at IHOP next Tuesday, and I’m eating a stack of pancakes, I’m NOT celebrating Mardi Gras and I’m NOT preparing to celebrate Lent. I just REALLY LIKE FREE PANCAKES! Maybe you could join me.