Today is the Eve of Lent, tomorrow Lent begins with Ash Wednesday. Lent is a 40 day long period of fasting in preparation for Easter and Passover. The name Shrove comes from the old Middle English word 'Shriven' meaning to go to confession to say sorry for the wrong things you've done. Lent always starts on a Wednesday, so people went to give confessions on the day before. This became known as Shriven Tuesday and then Shrove Tuesday. In Some Countries it is called "Fat Tuesday" and is the last day of the biggest party in the World - Mardi Gras. What happens at Mardi Gras fills the confessionals before the reminder of Ash Wednesday in many places.
So today is the day to confess your sins to Jesus and gain forgiveness before going into the long period of self-examination and self-denial which is the focus of Lent. It is the day to ask Jesus what he wants you to give up for the duration of Lent in remembrance of his 40 days being tempted in the desert wilderness in preparation for his ministry. So where do the Pancakes come into it?
Over the centuries most Christians have focused on fasting food during this period, and the custom developed in England of using up all the fattening ingredients in the house before Lent, in preparation of the coming fast. Most probably the type of fasting they used, given the length of the fast, was what we call "the Daniel fast", where the diet was reduced to only vegetables, fruit and water. Therefore the ingredients that most people had in their houses that they needed to use up before Ash Wednesday morning were eggs and milk. The simplest way to use them all up was to make pancakes!
But it doesn’t have to be food that you give up, don’t limit the Lord. Ask Him what He wants you to give up this Lent and what He wants you to replace it with…..God might ask you to surrender time to make more time in your life for Him. It could be something completely weird – He knows your heart and it’s a discipline and obedience thing. If you are fasting food, remember that you don’t fast on Sabbath and if you intend to do a full fast or a Daniel fast and you have any health issues you should consult a doctor today before it begins tomorrow morning.