Pondering With the Pastor

       February 2021

“Fat Tuesday”: Blessing and Celebration

 

     Oh how we will miss gathering for this special occasion! (What would have been, Tuesday, February 16?) Marking a time of feasting before Lenten fasting was a way for us to gather with prayers, joyful and festive music, marching with noisy instruments, food, fellowship, and sharing “together” in life’s joys and challenges!

     “Fat Tuesday” was a way to commit, “together,” of the practice in being a community in both feasting and fasting times, of sustaining one another, and the whole world in body, mind, and spirit. This practice of people from all lifestyles in our world, connect us more deeply with the generous and abundant living for all, and with God. (I think of the way in which our WELCA ladies make quilts, our LMIM guys build ramps in the community for those handicapped or the way our “Care & Share Blessing Boxes” feed those who are hungry!)

 

     Listen! Smell...The people are hungry, the food is hot, and it smells delicious! However, before we eat, let us use this blessing and prayer based on Isaiah 58: (I can hear all the joyous sounds quieting as we gather in our circle…)

 

God’s fast asks of us:

Break chains of injustice, remove every yoke.

Free prisoners, feed the hungry,

…Welcome the homeless.

God’s feast reminds us:

We don’t do any of this alone.

Eat and drink together and, as you are gathered,

…See what God does in, through, and with the plural ‘you.’

You—y’all—will be a watered garden.

We will give life and joy and sustenance

…As we joyfully sustain each other. Blessings on our feast.

Blessings on our fast. Blessings!

 

 Let us pray:

“Gracious and bountiful God, bless the food we are about to eat, and bless everyone and everything involved in preparing it. Bless and be present in our conversations and music making. Bless our feasting together, and bless the fasting we’ll begin together soon. Use our feasting and our fasting to make the world more just, more merciful, more hospitable, and more loving. Through the love of your Son, Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.

 

During the meal, we may invite conversation as to:

When feasting, what is your favorite food to eat?

What does fasting for Lent mean to you?

 

(Before people start to leave, we engage in a Blessing and a Prayer:)

We delight in you, O God!

Thank you for this feast!

Called to repair, restore, and rebuild.

Called to make streets livable and safe for all.

Called to be a resting place, a beautiful place,

…A welcome place. We delight in you, O God!

Thank you for this feast!

 

We delight in you, O God!

Thank you for this fast!

Called to Sabbath rest and joy.

Called to justice and mercy for all.

Called to the living water that is you.

We delight in you, O God!

Thank you for this fast!

 

Let us pray:

     Loving and merciful God, thank you for the feast shared and the fast we now begin “together”. Thank you for the gifts of shared abundance and joy. Thank you for the gifts of shared reflection, repentance, and prayer in the coming Lenten season. Make us your beloved community in the world, at work for the sake of your justice, your mercy, and your love. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

May God bless you and keep you.

May God sustain you with this feast.

…And be present in your fast.

May God use your feasting and fasting.

…To bless the world, and to give you peace. + Amen.

(It was great to share “Fat Tuesday” with you! I look forward to the day we will all gather— TOGETHER!)

© 2014 by Philadelphia Lutheran Church of Granite Falls, NC. All rights reserved.

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