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Shrove Tuesday ~ The day before Lent

Welcome to this years Out of the Overflow 2023 Lent journey.

Over the next 40 days (41 including today!) we'll be travelling through scripture, art, prayer and other prompts to draw us into deeper waters in our relationship with the Lord. This journey is part of my own walk of faith and I am using the creation process to redirect my own heart in this season! Whether you stay for the whole adventure or not, I pray that each time you're here, your heart, soul and mind are redirected to Jesus!

I am fresh out of a couple weeks with an incredible ministry team at a creative confrence. Often at the end of an intense time of ministry events, we can feel the backlash of Spiritual warfar, but I'm having none of that. I'm making the decision to put distractions and limitations aside and press into Lent with the same joy I've been experiencing!

Lent, a time which is often viewed out of a lens of depravation because of fasting, but the very act of withdrawing to draw to the Lord is beautiful! Because that's what we were made for ~ leaning into the Father¬

While you may be somebody who fasts literally, you may also be someone who cut's out one thing to exchange it for something healthier, and others may try to change habits.... whever you are with your level of fasting... this devotional is for you... because we can always strip away from our flesh to draw closer to God!

This series will take the structure of a Bible Study. There will be a scripture to read through, a devotional thought, a passage to focus on, a prayer to meditate through and the creative element is a simply picture to colour in.

- Read John 1 

You can read any translation, but I'd really recomment the Message translation for this one.

- Devotional Thought

The first chapter in the Gospel of John is a beautiful and timeless mirror chapter to Genesis 1. In Genesis, we saw the creation of the universe whereas in John 1, we see the introduction and preparation for the One who will be coming into the world to make it new.

We are also introduced to the grasshopper eating-camel hide wearing John. John the Baptist was the cousin of Jesus who was sent into the world at such a time as that to bring people into preparation for the coming Messiah. John testified to the repentance of souls for The Kingdom of God was at hand. John was steadfast in knowing His mission of telling people about the One who was to come.

Lent is a season of preparation.

Preparing for the wonder work of Easter.

But what about Shrove Tuesday? What’s symbolic about that?

Shrove Tuesday has many mixed roots, but for Christians, Shrove Tuesday is part of the pre-Lentern season. Shrove Tuesday (from the word Shrive, meaning "Absolve" , which is a theological term for forgiveness) is always the day before Ash Wednesday. It's a day for self-examination, a day to ask God for His help in dealing with the areas we need to grow in. This day was intended for confession and reflection in preparation for Lent. But as it falls in the "Pre-Lentern" season, it's got an element of indlugment to it as well! The tradition in this sees people indulge in meals high in sugar, eggs and milk. This is because most people would fast from these things during Lent. Enter Pancake Day!

But these foods can be eaten in a combination of repentance and enjoyment as we remember that it is that Kindness of God that leads us to repentance and confession, not condemnation or guilt!

It’s a repentance that makes room for the King!

Repentance isn't condemnation, it's God's kindness

- Passage to focus on 

“Everything was created through him; nothing—not one thing!— came into being without him. What came into existence was Life, and the Life was Light to live by. The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn’t put it out. The Life-Light was the real thing: Every person entering Life he brings into Light. He was in the world, the world was there through him, and yet the world didn’t even notice. He came to his own people, but they didn’t want him. But whoever did want him, who believed he was who he claimed and would do what he said, He made to be their true selves, their child-of-God selves. These are the God-begotten, not blood-begotten, not flesh-begotten, not sex-begotten. The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish.”

John 1:3-5, 9-14 MSG

In this section of the chapter, we are reminded that Jesus wasn’t eagerly welcomed into the world! He wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea and Baptism for His name wasn’t essential to their lives even though He was the real thing! He was genuine, yet they didn't notice!

- Image for today 

Today’s image is a pancake stack! We are so familiar with Pancake Day which left me thinking about pancakes ;) now we all know that pancakes are specific to personal taste! Not everybody likes them done the same way, same size, same flavour, same toppings etc.... and it reminds me of how people saw Jesus’ coming to the world. As we see in the highlighted verses of John 1, Jesus' ministry to the world wasn't hugely welcomed to all! If He didn't fit their agenda, the didn't welcome Him in. So this pancake stack is to remind you that this might not be how you eat your pancakes ~ but the next person along might love it! And that's the beautiful thing is that we are all completely different and utterly unique, yet Jesus came for us all!

And it's out of the heart of repentence that we prepare for lent, not out of guilt! We live in a fallen world that constantly tells us we need to be something else, something better, something more and we can fall prey to that. Repentence doesn't always mean something terrible! It can be that we have simply fallen into following other people and are no longer living out of our true self!

When Jesus was Baptised before He went into His Wilderness season, the Spirit decended on Him as the Father said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

And Jesus hadn't performed a miracle yet!

- Prayer 

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for the gift of repentance. For it is your kindness which brings us to repentance. As I prepare for the season of Lent, I ask for you to highlight areas of my life that you desire to see me grow. Highlight the areas where I can refine my heart to draw nearer to you.

Teach me each day to return to you for my strength and guidance. I know that I was fearlessly and wonderfully made and yet I live in a world that tells me otherwise . I am so aware that I fall short and I sin, so I return to you again, I ask for forgiveness and I ask for the strength to live out of my true self.

I read today that before Jesus had even stepped out in His ministry, you showered your love on Him publicly! I want to glorify You with my life and how I live. So, this lent season, I pray that you will lead me to treasure who we am inYou and to embrace this season with a desire to become a child of the Kingdom, my true self!

Whatever changes I make this Lent, may the be out of a pure heart to make room for more of you in my life! Keep my eyes on You so that my actions can reflect you and bring you the Glory through my life!


- Active idea

Think about what you could fast this Lent. Maybe you can fast from food literally, or perhaps it's removing what's indulgent to make room for ingulging in the Lord! Or maybe you have a habit you want to change...

Whatever you do, think of how you can make this sustainable not just for the next 40 days, but far beyond Lent! And that usually comes from replacing what you remove with something that supports. How can you supplement the unecessary with something that can make you healthier, stronger and more faith filled!

As you meditate on this day's thoughts, you can colour in and write scripture/notes on the downloadable coluring picture for the day here

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Thank you for joining me today! Hope to see you again soon!

Have a blessed Lent

~ X ~

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