Monday, February 23, 2009

Shrove Tuesday & St. Matthias

Little is known of his actual life. We know from the Book of Acts that he was one of the 120 followers of Jesus who were in the upper room. He was selected by lot to take the place of Judas Iscariot as on of the twelve apostles. He preached the Gospel in Juday, and is said to have preached the Gospel in Ethiopia (remembering that when the Christians scattered from Jerusalem because of persecution, they usually sought out Jewish colonies of which there was an ancient one in Ethiopia.), and also preached the Gospel in Colchis (modern Georgia) where he was crucified for his faith. We not in passing, that Georgia, together with Armenia is home of one of the more ancient churches which existed outside the Roman Empire.

Collect: Dear Lord, you raised up Matthias to take the place of Judas Iscariot as a witness to your name amongst the twelve. Grant that your church would not follow false teachers, but in this and every generation their would be faithful men to lead us in your ways; This we ask through Yeshuah haMoshiach, who livers and reigns with you and the Ruach haKodesh, one God in glory everlasting. Amen.

Shrove Tuesday

Today is also Shrove Tuesday. Shrove is the past tense of “shrive” which is to be absolved from sin. Traditionally on this day, people went to the priest to confess their sins and would be given a penitence which they would keep for Lent. Also on this day it was traditional in England to consume pancakes in order to use up the lard (the last of the meat) in the house as well as the last of the eggs and milk so as to fast from milk and dairy products during Lent. The same idea is held in the term Mardi Gras (fat Tuesday) reflecting that all the fat (lard) was to be finished off this day. Carnival in Portugues and Spanish reflects the same idea, as “carne” is meat, and Carnival was the time to finish off the meat.

Unfortunately, in many times and cultures Mardi Gras or Carnival instead of reflecting the religious nature has become a time of doing everything that one would not do in Lent, and has often become a time of drunken revelry.

Tonight we will have our Shrove Tuesday Service, in which we all confess our sins to one another, and is a time we concentrate on our individual responsibility. Tomorrow at the 6:00 AM Ash Wednesday Service, we will be confessing our corporate sins as a community and church.

Collect: : Lord, grant that we should make such a true confession, that we would truly walk in love and peace with one another that the light of Yeshua would truly shine through us. This we ask through Yeshua haMoshiach who lives and reins with you and the Ruach haKodesh, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

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